By: David Kolb
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (5-3-0) @ NEW YORK RANGERS (5-3-0)
After falling in Carolina Saturday night the Rangers will look to get back in the win column as they return home to face the Lightning. The Rangers are 2-0-0 this season following a loss, outscoring their opponents 11-6 in those two contests.
ZUCCARELLO, MR. DEPENDABLE
Rangers’ forward Mats Zuccarello scored two goals Saturday, giving No. 36 four goals and three assists in eight games this season. Tonight against Tampa, Zucc looks to build on his early season success, as he tallied three points (one goal, two assists) in three games against the Lightning last season.
AVOIDING 77 and 6
Rangers’ coach Alain Vigneault will do his best to keep his top scorers away from the Bolts’ top defensive pair of Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman. The duo is in their third season playing together and are recognized as one of the top defensive pairs in the NHL.
With Lightning high-scoring winger Nikita Kucherov nicked-up and doubtful to play after missing Saturday’s game against the Devils, Tampa’s captain Steven Stamkos needs to carry more of the scoring load. Stamkos visits The Garden Sunday with five goals and four assists for nine points, leading the Lightning in scoring.
MIKA ON PACE
23-year-old center Mika Zibanejad gained an assist in Carolina Saturday, giving him two goals and six assists for eight points in his first eight games on Broadway. Zibanejad turned in his best season as a pro last season for the Ottawa Senators, scoring 21 goals with 30 assists for 51 points in 81 games.