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.
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