Lightning at Rangers preview: Storming the Garden

Suddenly winless in two, the Bolts look to get back on the winning track playing back-to-back nights.

Lightning at Rangers: Game 9

Time: 7 pm Eastern Time

Location: Madison Square Garden

Broadcast/Streaming: NHL Network

Opponent SBNation Site: Blueshirt Banter


Not to hit the panic button, but things aren’t pretty right now. A six-game road trip was going to be tough as is, but now the Lightning’s resilience will be tested. This is not only the end of back-to-backs during a stretch of three games in four nights in the New York metro area, but now there’s a streak. A winless streak of two, in which the Bolts have scored just two goals while giving up six.

The Lightning have to — they must — start the game better. Whatever pregame routine and superstitions the players have need to be changed up because they can’t keep letting their opponent dictate the game while they play catchup. Steven Stamkos pointed out as much after Saturday’s loss.

It also doesn’t help when the power play can’t get anything going. The Lightning have had seven opportunities in the two losses and scored zero goals. It certainly doesn’t help that they’ve been without Nikita Kucherov, who didn’t even play five minutes of Thursday’s game before leaving with what’s been called an upper body injury. He’s listed day to day.

The Rangers, meanwhile, are coming off their own loss, 3-2 against the very bad Hurricanes on Friday. The Rangers helped the Canes snap their winless streak — they hadn’t won a single game so far this season (two were overtime losses). It was a classic case of a good team thinking they didn’t have to bring their best in order to defeat a lowly team.

This is a game of two teams that need to prove themselves and get back to winning. Should be a good one.

Preview Chart

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat  - Steven Stamkos  - Jonathan Drouin

Alex Killorn  - Tyler Johnson  - Vladislav Namestnikov

Cory Conacher - Valtteri Filppula - Brayden Point

Cedric Paquette  - Brian Boyle  - J.T. Brown

Defence Pairings

Victor Hedman  - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison  - Andrej Sustr

Braydon Coburn - Nikita Nesterov


Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

New York Rangers

Forward Lines

Mats Zuccarello - Mika Zibanejad - Pavel Buchnevich

Jimmy Vesey - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash

Mike Grabner - Kevin Hayes - JT Miller

Brandon Pirri - Oscar Lindberg - Jesper Fast

Defence Pairings

Ryan McDonagh - Nick Holden

Marc Staal - Kevin Klein

Brady Skjei - Dan Girardi


Antti Raanta

Henrik Lundqvist

Line information will be updated in the Game Day Thread.