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Rangers/Lightning preview

The New York Rangers (41-14-6) will conclude a back-to-back road trip against Southeast Division Opponents with a 7:30 PM face-off at the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. New York will look to extend their Eastern Conference lead, with a vital two points, the Blueshirts currently hold a 41-15-6 (88 points) and rank second in the league overall.

Right now the Blueshirts are looking to separate themselves from the rest of the competition minus captain Ryan Callahan, who sustained a bruised foot after blocking a shot in the Rangers’ 2-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils last Monday.

Callahan is uncertain for tonight’s game, has been one of the hottest-scorers for the Blueshirts, tailing eight goals and three assists in 10 game before the injury. The Blueshirts captain has also had a hot-stick against the Lightning, recording two goals and an assist in three meetings in Tamp Bay.

Helping to lift the Rangers during this stretch without the captain, is sniper Marian Gaborik, who recorded his team-leading 30th goal in the 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

This will be the fourth and final meeting between the Blueshirts and Bolts, with New York holding a 2-0-1 record over the Lightning. Helping to lead the Rangers in scoring against the Lighting is Derek Stephan (2-3-5).

Written on March 2, 2012

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