Rangers Hope Points Strike Twice In First Hookup With Tampa

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The New York Rangers saw a winning streak end against a former Southeast Division opponent. They’ll look to get another going tonight, when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden (7:00, MSG).

The Rangers enter at 5-3-0, tied for second in the Metropolitan Division. Their first winning streak of the season, at three games, ended on Friday night, when they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Carolina Hurricanes. Mats Zuccarello scored both goals for the Rangers, one on the power play and the other on the breakaway. However, the Rangers were unable to handle Jeff Skinner, who picked up three points including two goals. Henrik Lundqvist earned his first assist of the season in defeat.

The Lightning got off to a 5-1-0 start to the season, but have since dropped two in a row, each in 3-1 fashion. They’re in the final stages of an early six-game road trip, which will conclude by wrapping up a Tri-State area trio on Tuesday in Brooklyn. The first leg of that trip went down last night, as they fell to the New Jersey Devils. The Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Tyler Johnson put in his second goal of the year in the early stages of the third period.

This will be the first time the Lightning and the Rangers meet this season. The Rangers took two of the three meetings last season, including the most recent, a 3-2 win at Madison Square Garden on April 5. The Rangers trailed 2-0 in the early going, but came back thanks to two goal by Derek Stepan, before Chris Kreider put in the game winner just two minutes after Stepan tied it. Lundqvist made 39 saves to shut Tampa Bay out the rest of the way.

The two teams will play once more, the next time in Tampa Bay, on March 6.

Tune into blueshirtsnation.com for all the postgame coverage!