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Thursday, November 6th (All times eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (4-3-4) at New York Rangers (10-4-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning will meet for first time on North American soil tonight, as the two clubs square off in the Big Apple and Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers and Lightning opened the season against each other with a two-game series in Prague of the Czech Republic. New York captured both tests by a 2-1 margin, giving it wins in five of its last seven versus Tampa Bay. The Rangers have won three of their last four versus the Lightning at MSG.

New York netminder Henrik Lundqvist was in net for both games in Prague, making a total of 38 saves. Markus Naslund had a goal and an assist in the series.

Naslund had the Rangers' lone goal on Tuesday in a 2-1 loss to the Islanders, a setback that ran New York's losing streak to two. The Rangers have allowed seven goals during their brief skid after surrendering seven goals total in winning their previous four games.

Lundqvist was perfect through two periods versus the Islanders, but allowed two goals on 19 shots in all as the Rangers fell to 6-3-0 at home this season.

Tampa Bay was in action last night and dropped a 4-3 shootout game to the New Jersey Devils. Jussi Jokinen scored twice in the loss, while Martin St. Louis forced the extra skating time on a power-play marker with 3:20 left in the third period.

St. Louis had one of Tampa's two goals in the Prague series.

Mark Recchi had two assists last night, with Vincent Lecavalier adding a helper of his own. The Lightning had a three-game winning streak end, though they have still collected points in eight of their last nine games (4-1-4).

Goaltender Mike Smith, third in the league with a .939 save percentage, stopped 35-of-38 shots faced but was also beaten twice in the shootout.

Smith was in net for the Lightning's first loss in the Czech Republic, making 39 saves before giving way to Olaf Kolzig the following night.

The Lightning kicked off a five-game road trip last night and are 2-1-1 as the host this year. Tampa Bay still has one more Atlantic Division test left on the trip -- Saturday versus Philadelphia -- before back-to-back division tests in Washington and Florida.

11/06 10:58:14 ET


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