Game 23 Preview: Rangers at Lightning

December 3, 2011, by

Standings: Tampa Bay (11-11-2), Rangers (14-5-3)

Leading Scorer: Steven Stamkos (16-10-26)

Goaltender: Mathieu Garon (2.42 GAA, .920 SV%)

Rangers Projected Lines (projected):

Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Brian Boyle-John Mitchell
Sean Avery-Brandon Dubinsky-Brandon Prust

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Mike Sauer
Jeff Woywitka-Steve Eminger

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start tonight.

Scratches/Injuries: Marc Staal (concussion symptoms), Mike Rupp (knee), Wojtek Wolski (groin), Andre Deveaux (suspension), Anton Stralman (healthy)

Preview: Tampa Bay, the innovators of the 1-3-1 forecheck are an extremely dangerous team. Up and down the lineup, they can score, and are led by Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Marc-Andre Bergeron, and Vinny Lecavalier. But like most teams, they have a glaring weakness: their goaltending. Dwayne Roloson isn’t performing up to what he did last year, and the starter Mathieu Garon has been better, but not by much.

To beat the 1-3-1, as stated in Suit’s post linked to above, the Rangers will need to play a dump and chase style of game –their specialty. Get the puck deep, get back to it, and cycle the puck around until they can generate scoring chances. That’s how the Lightning get beat. They are also not great defending in their own zone.

The Rangers can use their skill lines to penetrate the zone with short, quick passes to break through. But the Rangers best bet is a dump and chase style. The Blueshirts passing isn’t all that stellar and the Lightning can generate offense off the rush in a hurry.

Many are pointing to this game as a “letdown” game, but it’s tough for a letdown game to occur against a team as talented as the Lightning. They may not be performing so well right now, but they will get their acts together. It will also be important to establish an early lead. This way the Lightning will be forced to open up and abandon their trap.

Crazy Thought: Mitchell uses something other than his face to block a shot.

Opponent’s Blog: Lightning Hockey Blog

Game time tonight is 7pm on MSG and AM1050.

Categories : Game Thread


  1. bob says:

    IF we get behind in this one it will be hard to come back.Like you said,our best bet is to come out and get the jump on them.We need Dubi to get going in this one.If he has Prust and Avery working the boards he should be able to do something.Tampa might be able to stop a couple lines but not all.

  2. bob says:

    Evenly sloppy 1st.I don’t think anyone expected that shot on the goal.Everyone was caught looking.Otherwise wasn’t that bad.Gabby is flying.Gotta get the forecheck going.Lets go Rangers.

  3. bob says:

    Great win!Good 3rd period.Is it me or is Anisminov really starting to show his talent on a nightly basis.I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get the hat tonight.I’m very impessed with Anisminov’s game.This team is definitely for real.Calli also had a great game.Very happy with this team right now!