Time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Opponent SBNation Site: Blueshirt Banter
It’s been just over three weeks since the last time the Tampa Bay Lightning played the New York Rangers, but this is nowhere close to the same Rangers team. For one, the team dealt nearly all of their available players to contending teams (shockingly, none to the Bolts). For another, in the eleven games since their last meeting, the Rangers haven’t had consecutive wins.
Rangers head coach David Quinn spoke yesterday on a couple of lineup decisions regarding tonight’s game:
Updates from #NYR Coach Quinn:— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 26, 2019
-Lemieux will play tomorrow vs. TBL on a line with Lias and Buch
-Georgie gets the start in net
-Chytil will be out of the lineup
Lemieux, who was acquired in the trade for Kevin Hayes, will actually take Chytil’s spot in the lineup. As for Chytil, it appears he may be looking at an extended stint in the press box. Other than that swap, the lineup should be similar to the one New York iced on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Lightning hit 100 points on Monday with their shootout win over the Kings. A mostly strong effort was derailed by the team blowing a 2-0 lead in a shaky third period. But the victory marked their ninth straight — and they’ll try to make it a tenth tonight.
Nothing seems to have changed on the Lightning front, aside from their usual blueline rotation. They may be 13 points up on the second team in the league (17 up on the next team in the East), but they can’t afford to get complacent and sloppy. They were able to escape with a win against LA, but that won’t work against better teams.
They’re playing a very similar team (in standings situation) tonight in the Rangers. This is a chance for the Lightning to put together a more complete game against a weak opponent and show that Monday night was a one-off lapse.
Barring a standout performance by Henrik Lundqvist, this is a game the Lightning should win. And they should feel some pressure to do so because this is the first night of a road back-to-back. They have a tough game in Boston on Thursday and if they falter against the Rangers, could easily find themselves in a position to lose two games in a row.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat- Steven Stamkos - J.T. Miller
Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Yanni Gourde
Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan
Scratched: Mathieu Joseph, Danick Martel
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Anton Stralman
Scratched: Braydon Coburn
New York Rangers
Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Jimmy Vesey
Vladislav Namestnikov - Ryan Strome - Jesper Fast
Brendan Lemieux - Lias Andersson - Pavel Buchnevich
Connor Brickley - Boo Nieves - Brendan Smith
Injured: Brett Howden
Scratched: Filip Chytil
Brady Skjei - Neal Pionk
Marc Staal - Anthony DeAngelo
Frederik Claesson - Kevin Shattenkirk