Games Notes: Rangers vs. Tampa Bay
The Rangers face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in the second game of the Bridgestone NHL Premiere in Prague, Czech Republic (6:00 p.m., 12:00 p.m. EST). The Blueshirts are currently tied for first place in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 1-0-0, and are tied for first in the Eastern Conference with two points. The Rangers enter tonight's contest having defeated the Lightning, 2-1, yesterday in the first regular season contest played outside of North America in team history. The Blueshirts posted a 8-6-3 record in the second game of back-to-back sets last season. Following today's match, the Rangers will return home to host the Chicago Blackhawks, Friday, October 10, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.) in their regular season home opener. The Lightning enter tonight's contest with a 0-1-0 record.
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Rangers vs. Lightning Pre-Game Notes
* The Rangers have won four consecutive season openers, following yesterday's 2-1 win over the Lightning, their longest such streak since they won seven consecutive season openers from 1926-27 to 1932-33.
* Five players made their Rangers debuts yesterday vs. Tampa Bay in Prague - Dmitri Kalinin, Lauri Korpikoski (NHL regular-season debut), Markus Naslund, Aaron Voros, and Nikolai Zherdev.
* Markus Naslund notched a goal in his Rangers debut yesterday vs. the Lightning, making it five consecutive seasons a player recorded a goal in their Blueshirts debut on Opening Night -- Jan Havlac (2003-04), Marcel Hossa and Jason Strudwick (2005-06), Brendan Shanahan (2006-07), and Chris Drury (2007-08).
* In four games vs. the Lightning last season, the Rangers tallied four goals in 18 power play opportunities (22.2%); Tampa Bay went 1-15 (6.7%) with the man advantage in those games.
* Henrik Lundqvist posted a 2-2-0 record, along with a 2.01 goals against average in four appearances vs. Tampa Bay last season.
* In four games vs. the Lightning, Michal Rozsival (one goal and two assists) and Paul Mara (three assists) each registered three points; Mara's three assists led the team.
* The Rangers posted a 4-6-1 record in October last season and went 7-5-2 on Sundays.
* In their last six games vs. the Lightning, the Rangers have notched 15 goals to 11 goals against for a 4-2-0 mark.
* New York's roster lists one former Lightning player; Paul Mara (1998-99 - 2000-01).
* Tampa Bay's roster lists two former Rangers; Adam Hall (2006-07) and Jason Ward (2005-06 - 2006-07).
Tune In Today!
Tonight's game will be televised on MSG. You can also catch the radio broadcast on ESPN 1050 New York.
All Time – Rangers vs. Lightning
At MSG: 17-12-2-2
At Tampa Bay: 14-14-3-1
2008-09 - Rangers vs. Lightning
Oct. 4 Rangers 2, Lightning 1 at Prague, Czech Republic
Oct. 5 Rangers vs. Lightning at Prague, Czech Republic
Nov. 6 Rangers vs. Lightning at MSG
Nov. 26 Rangers vs. Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum
2007-08 – Rangers vs. Lightning
Oct. 29 Rangers 3 vs. Lightning 1 at MSG
Nov. 21 Rangers 2 vs. Lightning 1 at St. Pete Times Forum
Jan. 8 Rangers 3 vs. Lightning 5 at MSG
March 15 Rangers 0 vs. Lightning 3 at St. Pete Times Forum
Upcoming Regular-Season Schedule
Oct. 5 Rangers vs. Tampa Bay (Prague), Noon ET
Oct. 10 Rangers vs. Chicago 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 Rangers at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 Rangers vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 Rangers vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.