Stop The Bleeding

The New York Rangers look to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season Tuesday night when they host the last-place Tampa Bay Lightning, owners of the worst road record in the NHL.

The Rangers (20-17-5) ended a three-game western Canada road trip with only one point after losing 3-2 in a shootout to Edmonton on Saturday. They last dropped four in a row from Oct. 13-23.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made New York -163 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -163 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

"In our three road games here somehow the puck seems to bounce the wrong way for us," Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "We are playing well, but we aren't getting the results. And that's what matters right now. We need the points. We need to keep working hard and hopefully it turns around."

New York hopes to get back on track against the Lightning (15-22-5), who have the fewest points in the Eastern Conference and are 3-14-3 on the road. The Rangers have won three in a row in the series, including both meetings this season.

Brendan Shanahan missed Thursday's 3-0 loss at Vancouver with muscle spasms in his neck and then injured his left knee Saturday when he collided with the Oilers' Dustin Penner.

Shanahan, the team leader with 15 goals, has played well against Tampa Bay, registering four goals and six assists in the last seven games. He had two goals and one assist in New York's 3-1 home win on Oct. 29.

With Shanahan potentially out, New York will be looking for captain Jaromir Jagr to continue his strong play at home. Jagr has three goals in the last two games at Madison Square Garden, giving him a team-high eight there. He has only 11 goals on the season.

Jagr has 10 points in five games against the Lightning in New York.

Lundqvist has also been better at home, going 13-7-0 with a 1.83 goals-against average and five shutouts in 20 games. Overall, he has recorded 12 of his 13 career shutouts with a 2.04 GAA in 87 games at MSG. Lundqvist is 4-0-1 with a 0.99 GAA and a shutout in five home meetings against Tampa Bay.

The Lightning, losers of 10 of their last 11 (1-8-2), are looking to snap a season-high seven-game losing streak (0-5-2). They haven't lost eight in a row since a 10-game slide from Jan. 12-29, 2001.

Tampa Bay's skid continued with a 4-3 overtime loss at Ottawa on Saturday. The Lightning led for the majority of the game until the Senators got a turnover off a discarded stick that led to the game-tying goal in the third period.

"That's the way it's going right now for us, but don't pity us. We can't have any self-pity," Lightning coach John Tortorella said.

Tampa Bay is getting shaky goaltending from Johan Holmqvist, who had 23 saves Saturday, and Karri Ramo.

Holmqvist is 0-5-2 with a 5.02 GAA in his last seven starts, getting pulled from four of them. He has lost three in a row against the Rangers, posting a 3.54 GAA in those games.

Ramo is 0-4-1 with a 3.66 GAA after a 31-save performance in his season debut on Dec. 20, a 2-1 win over Toronto - Tampa Bay's last victory.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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