NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the New York Rangers at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.
The Tampa Bay Lightning currently sit on the outside of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, which is a reality that is difficult to comprehend given the Bolts made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final last season.
Wednesday’s game between the Lightning and visiting New York Rangers is a rematch of the 2015 Eastern Conference final, which went to Tampa Bay after a seven-game series.
But as of Wednesday morning, the Lightning is two points back of the Ottawa Senators for the second Wild Card spot in the conference, and with the New Jersey Devils still to leapfrog over.
Perhaps Tampa Bay can continue to get a spark from the recent production of Steven Stamkos.
While his contract situation and future in that market has created fervent discussion at points in recent weeks, Stamkos seems to have put that 10-game scoring drought — from Nov. 25 to Dec. 15 — behind him with goals in three of his last five games and six points in that span.
The Rangers enter this game with a loss to Nashville coming out of the holiday break. Wins have recently been hard to come by for New York, especially since the Rangers’ trip through the Pacific Division — with stops in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary — earlier this month.
With three wins in their last 10 games, the Rangers are third in the Metropolitan Division, but only three points up on New Jersey, which sits out of a playoff spot right now.
(The Devils are also in action Wednesday — against the Senators.)
Following that, NBCSN will have the late game between the Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks.
Both teams sit out of the playoff picture in their respective conferences.
But for the Sharks, a win could vault them back into second — ahead of both the Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks — in the lowly Pacific Division.