The Rangers face their former captain, the Untouchable Ryan Callahan, for the third time in seven games. They have pretty much taken a hands-off approach, allowing Callahan to torch them for four goals in two games.
The Rangers are 4-1 in their last five, and 5-2-2 in nine, and both of the regulation losses in that period were at the hands of Callahan, Brian Boyle, Anton Stralman and the Lightning. The Rangers were non-competitive in a 5-1 loss at the Garden, and much better in a 4-3 loss in Tampa o Thanksgiving Eve. Tampa Bay has just six regulation losses through 24 games.
Callahan has yet to see, first-hand, the new captain of the Rangers, since Ryan McDonagh missed both games with a shoulder injury. He returned Friday.
Ex-Lightning captain Martin St. Louis, meanwhile, was blanked in his return to Tampa last week. Dan Boyle, another ex-Lightning, will not play tonight (flu-like symptoms). Tanner Glass (mumps) remains out, probably for a while, and Boyle had blood tests to determine whether he has the mumps or the flu, the results of which were not known today.
Chris Kreider, who missed Saturday’s game due to the passing of his grandfather, returns, so Anthony Duclair will be prucha’d. Duclair is likely headed to Team Canada, on loan, for the World Junior Championships later this month. Alain Vigneault said the team has not yet determined that. John Moore remains in the lineup, as does J.T. Miller, who was recalled to replace Kreider on Saturday and had a goal and an assist.
Henrik Lundqvist, who lost both games to Tampa Bay, is in goal, probably against Ben Bishop, who is 7-0, 1.26, .953 with two shutouts against the Rangers in his career.
After the game, vote for the Three Rangers Stars in the poll on the left.