Opening Faceoff: Rangers vs Lightning 11/2/17
The Rangers will be taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in a matchup of two teams with very different starts to their respective seasons. Tampa Bay features the NHL’s highest-scoring offense, with 53 goals for in just 13 games into the season. Because of this, the Lightning is tied with the St. Louis Blues for the NHL’s best record at 10-2-1. The Lightning has two of the league’s best players in Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, who have combined for 19 goals and 26 assists through the first month of the season.
Keys To The Game
- A Good Start – It has been said countless times that the Rangers need to have a good first period to put themselves in the best position to win games. And that sentiment couldn’t be any more critical than in tonight’s match. Tampa has scored 18 goals in the opening period, and have given up just ten. In addition, the Lightning is 8-1 when scoring the first goal of the game. The Rangers need to be ready to go as soon as the puck is dropped; otherwise, it’ll be over before the Rangers know it.
- A Full 200ft. Game – One of the Rangers strengths this season has been their ability to score goals. Though it may be under the radar, the Rangers are tied for ninth in goals scored. But perhaps the Rangers biggest weakness is their play in front of their own goaltenders. Countless times, the Blueshirts have been burned by poor defensive zone coverage and they can’t afford to make those mistakes against Tampa Bay.
- Puck Management – Building on the previous point, the Rangers will need to keep the giveaways to a minimum against the Lightning. Tampa is a team that is very good in transition and has a lot of high-quality points-producing forwards.
- There are a lot of current Lightning players who will be playing against old teammates in this one. Former Rangers captain Ryan Callahan is the lone forward, while defensemen Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi also suit up for the home team. Unlike his fellow ex-Rangers, this will be Girardi’s first time playing against his former club.