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Rangers ready to take on Tampa Bay again; Kreider returns to the lineup

Bobby Bevilacqua

chris kreider vs lightning

Chris Kreider will make his return to the lineup against the Lightning tonight, assuming his normal second line duties. Kreider has 13 points in 22 games this year. Photo courtesy of the New York Rangers.

After sweeping the Flyers in a home-and home series, the Rangers (11-8-4) will face the Tampa Bay Lightning (16-6-2) for the final time this season, with tonight’s match being played at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers are coming off of a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, where Jesper Fast scored his first NHL goal and JT Miller providing some offense as a replacement for the grieving Chris Kreider.

The Lightning have won their last three games, and are coming off of a 4-1 victory over the Ottowa Senators, thanks to a two point night from Ryan Callahan and 27 saves from Ben Bishop.

Tampa Bay won the first two meeting against the Rangers, winning 5-1 and 4-3. Ben Bishop is 7-0-0 against the Rangers in his career, and Ryan Callahan has scored four goals in his two career games against the Rangers. The Lightning are undefeated when Ryan Callahan scores a goal.

Tanner Glass will sit for the third straight game as he is still recovering from the Mumps. Dan Boyle will also be scratched for the second game in a row with flu-like symptoms. As of now, doctors do not believe that Boyle has the mumps.

Chris Kreider will return to the Rangers lineups tonight. Kreider was a healthy scratch due to a death in the family. After playing very well against the Flyers, JT Miller will remain in the Rangers lineup, while the rookie Anthony Duclair will likely be a healthy scratch.

jt miller 11-29

JT Miller played his way into the Rangers lineup tonight after a solid performance on Saturday against the Flyers. Miller will play with Dom Moore and Jesper Fast on the fourth line.

 

Duclair has been quiet as of late, and has been outperformed by other members of the Rangers. Miller was impressive on Saturday while Duclair was contained, and Miller earned the starting spot in the lineup.

In order to salvage a win against the Lightning, Vigneault believes that the Rangers need to bring their “A” game tonight. Tampa Bay has the most goals in the league, averaging 3.50 goals per game. The Lightning also have the third ranked power play in the league, with a 24.4% efficiency (20-82).

The Lightning’s top line have dominated the Rangers in the first two games this season, with former Ranger Ryan Callahan leading the way with four goals and an assist, as well as some help from Steven Stamkos, who has 15 goals this season.

Rick Nash has been the offensive catalyst for the Rangers, already with 16 goals this season as well as picking up nine assists. Nash’s goal scoring and offensive abilities will be a key to the Rangers success against Tampa Bay.

Rick Nash 10-16

Rick Nash continues to pick up points, now with 25 points (16-9-25) this season. Nash will need to get a few more tonight if the Rangers want to secure a win against the Lightning. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

Derick Brassard scored the game winning goal on Saturday, his second of the game, giving him eight goals this season and has 19 points (8-11-19) this season. Brassard has stepped up into the top center role and has been a great offensive and defensive asset.

The best offensive player for the Rangers recently has been Derek Stepan. In his 11 games since his return, Stepan has posted 12 points (2-10-12), already hitting the 10 assist mark. Stepan has solidified the second line center position and has helped increase the success of the power play.

Henrik Lundqvist will make his second straight start in net. On Saturday, Lundqvist made 21 saves and allowed two goals en route to his ninth victory of the season.

Henrik Lundqvist blocker save 11-11

Henrik Lundqvist will make his 19th start of the season, coming off of a 21 save victory over the Flyers. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

The Rangers and the Lightning will face off at Madison Square Garden at 7 PM, where the Rangers will be looking to end the Lightning’s win streak while extending their own. The game will be broadcasted on MSG Network.

EXPECTED LINES

Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis

Carl Hagelin-Kevin Hayes-Lee Stempniak

JT Miller-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast

Marc Staal-Dan Girardi

Ryan McDonagh-John Moore

Matt Hunwick-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

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Posted on December 1, 2014, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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