Tonight marks the beginning of a three-game homestand for the Tampa Bay Lightning, as the New York Rangers are in town and are looking to extend their winning streak to three games and they are also going for a seventh straight road win, talk about “road warriors.”
The Lightning are currently on a downslide, as they have lost four straight games but they are hoping a return back to the Times Forum will do the trick. This current losing streak is the club’s longest so far this season. Before all this, Tampa Bay had not lost two straight games in 2013-14.
As we all know, superstar forward Steven Stamkos is currently sidelined with a broken tibia, which he suffered on November 11 in a game against the Boston Bruins in the second period. Since that injury, the Lightning are 2-4-1. There is no timeline for Steven’s return, but he expects to play this season and he is already walking without crutches.
The Rangers on the other hand, are feeling good right now. They are 2-0 on their current five-game road trip. The Blueshirts kicked off their winning streak with a 3-2 victory over Dallas on Thursday, then captured a 2-0 win against Nashville this past Saturday.
On Saturday, backup goaltender Cam Talbot tallied his second straight shutout with 17 saves and gave the Rangers their second consecutive win. Talbot’s first shutout came on November 16 in Montreal, in which he made 22 saves in a 1-0 win.
Talbot is a remarkable 5-1-0 with a 1.32 GAA and a .949 save percentage, tremendous numbers for a newcomer. Related to Henrik Lundqvist, Talbot’s effort on Saturday was quite relaxed, as Henrik had to make 41 saves against Dallas the game before.
“I could get used to this, for sure,” Talbot stated. “The guys have played unbelievably in front of me the past two games.”
The Rangers have won three straight and four of the last five games in their series with Tampa. The Lightning have also lost two of three on home ice against New York.
Rangers Projected Lineup