Rangers looking for third straight victory, host Lightning

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are aiming to keep building momentum post All-Star break as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.

After a thrilling 2-1 comeback OT win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, they’ve now won two consecutive games. If they can beat the Bolts, it will be their first three-game winning streak since Dec. 15-19.

New York will also have their captain, Jacob Trouba, back after he served a two-game suspension for elbowing Vegas Golden Knights forward Pavel Dorofeyev.

“The break came at a good time for us to reset and turn the page,” Trouba explained. “Guys have a little more jump coming back and [Monday] was a good win for us.”

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (31-16-3) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (27-18-5)
Date/Time: February 7, 2024 @ 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden
TV: TNT
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

Note: Subject to change, updated for each game

Related: Nick Bonino requests contract termination

New York Rangers projected lineup

New York Rangers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the expected line combinations and pairings with Jonathan Quick probable to start:

Kreider – Zibanejad – Wheeler
Panarin – Trocheck – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Brodzinski – Kakko
Vesey – Goodrow – Pitlick

Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Trouba
Gustafsson – Schneider

Quick
Shesterkin

Note: The Rangers will hold an optional morning skate at 10:30 AM ET at Madison Square Garden. Peter Laviolette will address the media afterwards. Check back for updates.

New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

New York’s 65 points leads the Metropolitan Division, four points up on the second-place Carolina Hurricanes, who lost to the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Tuesday.

The Rangers have stressed the need to rebound from a subpar January, when they were 5-7-2 by having a strong February. It also appears coach Peter Laviolette is going to ride the hot goalie with Jonathan Quick looking like he’ll start his third straight contest.

Quick is coming off a 32-save performance against the Avalanche, when he made a point-blank stop on Mikko Rantanen in the final minute of play and assisted on Alexis Lafreniere’s OT winner. In 18 games this season, Quick has an outstanding record of 11-4-2 a 2.35 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. The veteran is riding a two-game winning streak.

“Every day he comes to the rink preparing to start,” Laviolette said of Quick. “He’s been unbelievable in the room with the guys as a teammate.”

As of late, the Blueshirts have been playing better hockey with points in four of their past five (3-1-1). They’ve also been pretty successful against Tampa Bay with points in seven-straight head-to-head meetings (6-0-1).

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore