Rangers: Quick...which player led the team in ice-time in Thursday's victory over the Islanders? Ryan McDonagh? Good guess, but no. Marc Staal? Very close, he had the second most. Michael Del Zotto? Ryan Callahan? No, and no! The answer is Anton Stralman, who played a season-high 26 minutes and 41 seconds Thursday night, and played a very strong game---even promoted to the team's top power play unit. With Dan Girardi sidelined the past two games, the quietly effective Stralman has played more than 20 minutes in each of the games---this after having not reached the 20-minute mark yet this season, and only once having surpassed the 15 minute mark. Though without a point on the season, Stralman is a +3 and has yet to take a penalty through the first ten games of the season, effectively filling whatever role John Tortorella has asked him to play.
Lightning: Tampa Bay has won six of its first ten games, but has struggled mightily against teams from the Atlantic Division. Each of the Lightning's losses have come against Atlantic Division foes, and they are just 1-4-0 in five games against the Atlantic this year. Along with their home ice loss to the Rangers last weekend, the Lightning have lost road games to the Islanders, Flyers, and Devils; and they have also beaten the Flyers down in Tampa. The Lightning are also just 1-3-0 on the road this season, with their only road win coming against the Hurricanes on January 22nd.