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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers preview: Bolts hope to continue their luck after Sweden

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Back at home!

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Game 16

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Blueshirt Banter


The Lightning successfully completed their trip to Sweden with two wins over the Buffalo Sabres. Surprisingly, it’s just the second time this season they’ve posted two-games winning streak. Hopefully, the NHL Global Series games gave them a very much needed emotional reset.

After playing three games with the Bolts, Alex Volkov was sent down to Syracuse. His play wasn’t awful, but he probably didn’t bring as much impact as coaching stuff expected, despite playing on the top line with Steven Stamkos. No one has been recalled yet, so that means Carter Verhaeghe is back into lineup. He last played two weeks ago against the New Jersey Devils.

According to the lines from this morning’s practice, the fourth line, which played very well in Sweden, will stay together. Verhaeghe gets the chance to skate on the second line with Stamkos and Ondrej Palat while Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov will anchor the top line. On defense, Luke Schenn remains in the lineup with Braydon Coburn and Jan Rutta scratched.

Meanwhile, the New York Rangers seem like they found their game. They are 6-2-2 in the last ten games, currently tied with the Lightning in points, although they played one more game. Filip Chytil has been a good second center since his recall, scoring four goals in seven games and making everyone wonder why he was sent down to the AHL in the first place. Artemi Panarin is producing more than a point per game, proving that he deserves his giant contract. Kaapo Kakko is starting to look like an NHL player, scoring two goals in the last games, though some of his more advanced numbers still don’t look good. Mika Zibanejad is still missing due to injury. However that hasn’t affected their scoring much, as they scored 17 goals in the last fourth games.

It’s the teams’ second meeting this season. The Lightning have been outplayed by the Rangers last time through some injuries. Since that game, the Bolts started to look better. Their power play percentage is slowly moving up and it will be very interesting to see what a healthy and more confident Bolts will do against the Rangers.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Carter Verhaeghe

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph

Patrick Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn

Scratched: Jan Rutta, Braydon Coburn


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

New York Rangers

Forward Lines

Artemi Panarin - Ryan Strome - Jesper Fast

Chris Kreider- Filip Chytil - Pavel Buchnevich

Brendan Lemieux - Brett Howden - Kaapo Kakko

Greg McKegg - Lias Andersson - Brendan Smith

Defense Pairings

Libor Hajek - Jacob Trouba

Brady Skjei - Anthony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox


Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev


Injured: Mika Zibanejad, Marc Staal