Rangers-Lightning Preview

Martin St. Louis is on the brink of matching the longest scoring

streak of his career, and a meeting with the New York Rangers may

be just what he’s looking for.

St. Louis attempts to score a goal for a fifth straight game,

while helping the Tampa Bay Lightning get on track with another

victory over the Rangers on Sunday night.

St. Louis leads Tampa Bay (23-11-4) with 17 goals and 38 points,

and he’s totaled eight during a six-game point streak. The star

right wing has also found the net in each of the past four games,

putting him one shy of his career record reached three times, most

recently from Jan. 27-Feb. 4, 2010.

The captain extended his streak with a goal Friday, though the

Lightning’s season-high five-game winning stretch ended with a 2-1

shootout loss to Montreal.

“If there is a silver lining, we do get a point out of this,”

coach Jon Cooper said.

Cooper may also find some solace in having St. Louis face the

Rangers (18-19-2). He’s averaged one point in 45 career meetings,

getting 28 in 23 home matchups.

St. Louis also has four points over the last two games, and he

was pivotal in the latest on Nov. 25. He scored two goals and set

up another to power a 5-0 home win over New York.

Valtteri Filppula assisted on both of St. Louis’ tallies in that

meeting, but he was held without a point Saturday to snap his

season-high five-game point streak. He had there goals and five

assists during that stretch.

The Rangers opened this five-game road trip with Friday’s 3-2

loss at Washington, scoring just one goal in the first two periods

despite a 32-20 advantage in shots.

“We didn’t get the job done,” said center Derick Brassard, who

had an assist. “We had some scoring chances, and we need to

capitalize on them.

“I think we need to forget about the game. It would be nice to

start the road trip with a big win. It is what it is. We need to

focus on the next few games. We need a good road trip.”

New York could also use an improved effort from Henrik

Lundqvist, who is likely to be back in net after rookie Cam Talbot

lost for the first time in three straight starts Friday. Talbot

made 31 saves against the Capitals after stopping 49 of 51 shots

his previous two games.

That may be enough for the Rangers to return to Lundqvist, who

is 2-4-2 with a 3.41 goals-against average in eight games since

signing a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension on Dec.

4.

Lundqvist, the 2012 Vezina Trophy winner and highest paid goalie

in the NHL, has won once in his past five games at Tampa Bay,

compiling a 3.63 goals-against average.

He was pulled from last month’s loss after giving up four goals

on 22 shots through two periods.

Benoit Pouliot is on a career-high six-game point streak. The

journeyman left wing has three goals and three assists over that

stretch after finding the net against the Capitals.

He failed to get a point against Tampa Bay in November, his

first game against the Lightning after spending last season with

them.