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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 29th (All times Eastern)

New York Rangers (18-19-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (23-11-4), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Following a disappointing homestand, the New York Rangers did not get their five-game road trip off to the best of starts.

The Blueshirts seek to rebound on Sunday night as they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning.

New York went 3-4-2 over the longest residency in team history, then began its current trek with a 3-2 loss at the Washington Capitals on Friday. Carl Hagelin and Benoit Pouliot both scored to erase one-goal deficits, but the Caps' Eric Fehr had the winner with 5:09 left in the game.

Cam Talbot made 31 saves in his third straight start following wins over Minnesota and Toronto.

"It was definitely a hard-fought game by both teams," said New York head coach Alain Vigneault. "I thought five-on-five, I really liked the way we competed tonight."

Pouliot ran his career-high point streak to six straight games, notching three goals and three assists over the run to account for half of his 12 points this season.

However, New York did lose defenseman Anton Stralman to an undisclosed injury in the first period and he is day-to-day. Rookie blueliner Conor Allen was recalled from the American Hockey League.

The Rangers do appear close to getting defenseman Marc Staal back from a concussion that has sidelined him for the past nine games. He took part in morning skate on Friday, is expected to start practicing with the club and may be back on this road trip.

Forwards Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello both missed practice on Saturday due to the flu.

After giving way to Talbot for the past three games, Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start tonight. He has gone 1-4-2 in his last seven starts, giving up at least three goals in each game.

The veteran is 16-8-6 with a 2.17 goals against average in his career versus the Lightning, but took a loss on Nov. 25 in Tampa after yielding four goals on 22 shots through two periods.

Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell scored twice for the Lightning and Ben Bishop made 37 saves as the Bolts opened their season series versus the Rangers with a win after dropping all three meetings last season.

Tampa Bay has won nine of its last 14 at home versus New York.

The Lightning had a season-high five-game winning streak snapped on Saturday night, but did record a point for the 10th time in their last 11 games with a 2-1 shootout setback to the Montreal Canadiens.

Martin St. Louis had a goal in regulation, but the offense failed to light the lamp in the tiebreaker. Bishop was bested once in the shootout after stopping 20 shots through overtime.

The Lightning entered the third period tied with the Habs despite having just nine shots in the game. They got on track with 14 shots in the third period.

"We played a great third period, but had a couple of chances that just missed," said Bishop. "This game could have went either way tonight."

Tampa Bay moved to 7-1-3 in its last 11 games thanks in part to St. Louis, who has 38 points in 38 games this season, including four goals and four assists on a current six-game point streak.

The Bolts played without defensemen Eric Brewer (arm) and Sami Salo (upper body) due to injury.

Bishop is 4-0-0 with a 0.89 GAA and two shutouts in four career games (3 starts) versus the Rangers. Backup Anders Lindback is 0-1-0 against them with a 2.69 GAA in one start and one relief appearance.

12/29 10:23:28 ET

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Schedule

Thursday, April 24Full Scoreboard
Boston 4/24 8:00 PM ET
Detroit NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FSN-DET
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Boston leads series, 2-1.
Colorado 4/24 9:30 PM ET
Minnesota CNBC, TSN2, Alt, FSN-N,WI
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Colorado leads series, 2-1.
San Jose 4/24 10:30 PM ET
Los Angeles NBCSN, CBC, FSN-W, CSN-CA
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. San Jose leads series, 3-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Toyota Owner's 400 from Richmond

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on FOX50

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  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tonight at 7:05 on 620am

  • MLB: LA Angels at NY Yankees

    Saturday at 1:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Oklahoma at Memphis

    Saturday at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: LA Clippers at Golden State

    Sunday at 3:30 am on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 5
KAN 1
Final
PIT 1
CIN 2
8th
DET 5
CWS 4
 
7th
TAM 4
MIN 9
 
8th
NYM 4
STL 1
 
5th
CHC 1
ARI 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR