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After a third-period collapse, the New York Rangers are looking to avoid their longest losing streak of the season. The Tampa Bay Lightning are hoping to build on a third-period rally as they try to equal their best win streak of 2006-07.
The Rangers (18-14-4) look to bounce back and end a four-game skid as they try to keep the Lightning (16-17-2) from winning their third in a row Saturday night at the St. Pete Times Forum.
New York last dropped five in a row to close the 2005-06 regular season. The Rangers had a four-game skid from Nov. 26-Dec. 3, but suffered only one regulation loss in that stretch.
The Rangers' latest defeat came by a 3-2 score Thursday night at Florida, as they allowed three unanswered goals in the third. New York had been 12-0-2 when leading after two periods.
"We had the game in our hands," defenseman Darius Kasparaitis said of the Rangers' second straight one-goal loss. "When things are not going well, you find ways to lose."
The Rangers will look to rebound against a team they have enjoyed success against of late. They are 3-0-2 in their last five matchups with the Lightning.
Jaromir Jagr, Michael Nylander and Martin Straka each had a goal and two assists, and Brendan Shanahan added a goal and an assist in the Rangers' 4-1 home win over Tampa Bay on Nov. 19.
Henrik Lundqvist has posted 1.75 goals-against average and not allowed more than three goals while starting all five of those contests. Jagr has two goals and six assists in the five meetings.
Lundqvist and Nylander, though, have not played in the Rangers' last three games because of the flu. Kevin Weekes has started in place of Lundqvist and gone 0-3 with a 4.38 GAA.
The Lightning have a chance to record their fourth three-game win streak of the season after scoring three unanswered third-period goals to beat Ottawa 4-2 on Thursday. The victory ended their five-game skid at Scotiabank Place.
"We exorcised a demon," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "During this little jam we've played hard, we just haven't made a big play or get a big save to win hockey games."
Before their two consecutive victories, Tampa Bay had gone 1-7-1 in its last nine games.
The Lightning will be looking to regroup on the power play after tying their season high for most opportunities - seven - without a goal. Tampa Bay was 7-for-22 (31.8 percent) while scoring a power-play goal in each of the previous four games.
The Lightning's opponent Saturday could help them rediscover their productive ways with the manpower advantage. The Rangers have allowed 11 power-play goals in 33 chances in their last five games, including 9-for-22 in the last four.
Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis has three power-play goals in his last five contests and seven goals and seven assists during a seven-game point streak. He has scored six times during a season-high five-game goal streak.
Teammate Vincent Lecavalier has a point in 10 of his last 11 games, with 10 goals and 10 assists in that span.
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