The New York Rangers were flying pretty high a week ago. They were on a three-game winning streak, they have just beaten the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins by a combined score of 11-1 and they were about to face their rivals in the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Rangers lost that game 4-1, but played pretty well in an effort that didn't appear on the scoreboard.
Now they face a tough test in the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team with a ton of speed and talent. What makes it even worse is the fact that Marian Gaborik (groin) and Michael Del Zotto (flu) are out. But that means that Mats Zuccarello, who was called up yesterday, and Matt Gilroy are in.
Both will be looking to make an impact tonight, especially Zuccarello who has been on an absolute tear in the AHL. The Rangers can certainly use some of his offense, considering the guy he's replacing.
Early word is that Henrik Lundqvist will be getting the starting nod, although I wouldn't be surprised to see Martin Biron get a game in sometime soon either.
The Rangers will be looking to improve their record to 21-14-1. The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the New York Islanders in overtime yesterday thanks to a John Tavares goal. The Rangers should have the obvious edge in fatigue.