THE SERIES: The first of four meetings this season. The Lightning trails 20-21-5-2.
KEY INJURIES: New York - G Dan Blackburn (shoulder, out); RW Pavel Bure (knee, out); G Mike Dunham (groin, questionable); C Pascal Rheaume (knee, out); Tampa Bay - None.
THE LOWDOWN: New York's Mark Messier ranks second all-time in the NHL with 1,855 points and 1,700 games. ... The Lightning is unbeaten in four overall (3-0-1) and has won three in a row at the Times Forum. ... The Rangers are 2-2-2 in their past six. They are 1-5-2 on the road and 0-3-2 in their past five. ... LW Martin Rucinsky has two goals, four assists in his past two games. ... Entering Monday, Rucinsky and Lightning LW Fredrik Modin were tied for fourth in the league at plus-12. ... New York's power play was ranked 27th at 11.5 percent. ... The Lightning's penalty kill, successful in 25 of its past 26 shorthanded situations and 18 straight, was No. 2 at 90 percent. ... Tampa Bay has won two straight at home against the Rangers and is 10-10-3-1 overall.