Rangers-Derek Stepan: Except for perhaps his three-goal outburst on November 2nd against Carolina, it's been an oddly quiet season to date for Stepan. After missing training camp he stepped into the lineup Opening Night and did record assists in each of his first three games, and has since built a real chemistry in November centering a line with Chrid Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. He is also now tied with Brad Richards for the team lead in points with 16 (5-11-16) in 23 games. Yet it has seemed like a very quiet season, so far, for the skilled fourth-year pro. Stepan did make a big-time play Saturday, coming away with a neutral-zone steal early in the third period which led directly to his first goal in eight games, and maybe this will be a leaping off point for him to step a bit more into the spotlight. Stepan has been consistent, now the Ranhers need just a little bit more out of him moving forward, and the Lightning have long been a favored opponent of his. He has six goals and 11 points in 11 career games against Tampa Bay.
Lightning-Martin St. Louis: For the second time in his career, Martin St. Louis led the NHL in scoring last season---60 points in the truncated 48-game season. He also notched his third Lady Byng Trophy last season, and this year he recently surpassed 1,000 games played in his career. Not bad for a tiny kid who starred at the University of Vermont and went undrafted as scouts and general managers could not see past the 5-foot-8 (at best) frame. But St. Louis has persevered to say the least, a Stanley Cup champion in 2004, a lifetime 933 points built on 348 goals and 585 assists, six NHL All Star Game appearances. This season his 21 points rank second on the Lightning, though shortly he will pass the injured Steven Stamkos in that department. He is seeking consistency in his game, however. St. Louis has not been the consistent point machine he was a year ago. For example, St. Louis has been held without a point in seven of his last ten contests, and he has not been a plus-player in any of his last eight games.