Rangers Look To Put Tampa in Deep Freeze

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Players To Watch


Rangers-Marc Staal: Very quietly Staal is off to a very solid start at both ends of the ice for the Rangers in 2013. A year removed from his concussion woes which cost him nearly half the season a year ago, Staal is logging major minutes as one of the Blueshirts shutdown defensemen---especially with Dan Girardi having been sidelined the past two games---and he is tied with Michael Del Zotto for the most points among Rangers defensemen with six (1-5-6). Staal had a pair of assists in Thursday's win over the Islanders, and he has three assists in his last three games overall. He has also logged more than 26 minutes worth of ice-time in three of his last five contests, including each of the last two. Last season Staal finished with five points and a -7 plus/minus rating in 46 games played. This year he already has six points and is a +4 in the first ten games of the season. Expect Staal to play a major role on Sunday as the Rangers look to shut down the high-octane Lightning offense.


Lightning-Vinny Lecavalier: Tampa Bay's captain surpassed the 1,000 games played milestone earlier this season, having now played each and every one of those 1,008 NHL games with the Lightning since being the first overall pick in the 1998 draft. All told, so far, Lecavalier has 377 goals and 853 points in his career, including 11 points (4-7-11) in the first ten games this season. However he has been held without a point in each of the last three games, not so coincidentally three straight Lightning losses, showing that he remains a key part of this Tampa Bay team, even with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis gobbling up much of the attention. Based on his competitive nature, one can expect Lecavalier to bring his "A" Game into The Garden when he faces former coach John Tortorella on Sunday.