Hoping to enjoy Thanksgiving with a win to be thankful for, the Tampa Bay Lightning face off against the New York Rangers Wednesday night in the St. Pete Times Forum.
The Lightning will be seeking their first victory over the Rangers this season, in their final attempt. This will be the fourth and last regular season meeting between these two clubs, including the two games in Prague, Czech Republic, that opened the season.
Mike Smith is expected to start in net for the Lightning. He currently ranks second in the NHL in save percentage with .932 % and his goals against average of 2.35 also has him among the top ten in netminders in that category.
For Tampa Bay, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis rule the roost statistically, with Lecavalier leading the team in points with 16 and goals with nine. Linemate St. Louis is one point behind with 15. St. Louis also leads all Tampa Bay skaters vs. the Rangers this season with two goals and three points.
The Lightning are 6-8-6 with 18 points, alone in third in the Southeast Division.
For the Rangers, the visit to Tampa marks the first game of a two-game Florida road swing. They are led in goals scored by Chris Drury, with a total of eight, three of which were scored against the Lightning. The Rangers (15-7-2) are in first place in the Atlantic Division. Their overall point leader is Nikolai Zherdev, with 20. He added three assists to his total Monday night in the Ranger win over Phoenix. Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist leads the NHL with 13 wins.
This game will spell the conclusion of the current four-game home stand. Following Wednesday’s game, Rick Tocchet will lead the team on his first road trip as the interim Head Coach, visiting Minnesota, Colorado and Philadelphia, before returning home to Tampa.