New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 1/14/14
Tampa Bay Lightning (27-14-4) at New York Rangers (24-20-3)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: New York Rangers -147 / Tampa Bay Lightning +134 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The New York Rangers host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday evening at Madison Square Garden.
The Tampa Bay Lightning come into MSG after losing last night’s game to the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 3-2. The Lightning took a 2-1 lead in the third period, but the Jackets rallied late to score twice in regulation to put the Bolts away. Tampa moves to 13-10-2 on the road this season, but remains in third place in the Eastern Conference. Without Steven Stamkos, who suffered a broken tibia in November, the Lightning have managed to hang around the top of the standings in the East. Much of the team’s fortitude can be attributed to Martin St. Louis, but Tampa would undoubtedly be in a much worse position without the play of Ben Bishop in net. Bishop, who did not play Monday against Columbus, has a 1.86 GAA, which ranks second in the NHL, and .935 save percentage, which ranks him first overall in the NHL this season.
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The New York Rangers are coming off of a confidence building game against the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-1. Against the Flyers, the Rangers were able to take a three goal lead in the first period, then put the game on cruise control. Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist has finally regained his former stature between the pipes, making 37 saves against the Flyers. The Rangers are an astoundingly average 10-10-3 at MSG so far this year, but the club has won two straight at home and will look to build the momentum in the next two at home coming against Tampa Bay and Detroit.
The Lightning are just 1-4 in the last five meetings between these two teams, and Tampa is 4-10 in the last 14 meetings in New York. However, the Lightning have played well on the road lately, going 7-1 in its last eight road contests. The Rangers are 19-2-1 on the season in games where they score first, and with the Lightning playing back-to-back road games, I think there is a good chance the Rangers can get out to an early lead. Moreover, the Rangers catch the Lightning playing in the third game in four nights, so the Bolts will be fatigued. In my opinion, if Ben Bishop does not return from the ailing wrist, the side to play in this game will definitely be New York.