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Feb 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) celebrates his game winning goal with teammates in overtime against the New York Rangersat Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Feb 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) celebrates his game winning goal with teammates in overtime against the New York Rangersat Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

The Rangers couldn't find the overtime winner in a 4-3 loss to the Lightning at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 7:52 TBL Tyler Johnson; Assists: Nikita Kucherov, Anton Stralman
  • 14:57 TBL J.T. Miller (Power Play); Assists: Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman
Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers' struggles against the Lightning continued with a 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. >> Box score


First period:

  • 6:51 TB Yanni Gourde; Assists: Ryan McDonagh, Mathieu Joseph

Second period:

  • 4:41 TB Erik Cernak; Assists: Ryan Callahan, Cedric Paquette
  • 8:33 TB Steven Stamkos; Assists: Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov
  • 16:17 NYR Mats Zuccarello; Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider
Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn defends New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes during the third period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn defends New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes during the third period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Nearly a year ago, New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton penned a letter to season ticket holders, stating the team was going to start a rebuild by trading core players.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were the biggest beneficiaries as they acquired defenseman Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller from New York.

Heading into Saturday's visit to Madison Square Garden, Tampa Bay has won three straight meetings over the Rangers since the deal, achieving those victories rather decisively.

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It was a battle between goalies on Friday night at the Coliseum, as the Islanders fell to the Lightning 1-0 in a shootout. >> Box score

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Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

By the time faceoff arrives Friday night, the New York Islanders will have waited nearly 10 days to play a hockey game. The Tampa Bay Lighting will have waited even longer for a rare chance at revenge.

The two division leaders in the Eastern Conference are scheduled to meet Friday night, when the Islanders return from the All-Star Break and their subsequent bye week by hosting the Lightning at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders have been off since Jan. 22, when they went into the break with a 3-2 shootout loss to the host Chicago Blackhawks. The visiting Lightning returned to action Wednesday, when they fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-2.

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New York Islanders defenseman Devon Toews celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Devon Toews celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

Rookie Devon Toews was among three different Islanders to score in the first period en route to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Barclays Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 1:21 NYI Brock Nelson (power play); Assists: Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal
  • 4:27 NYI Cal Clutterbuck; Assists: Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas
  • 4:43 NYI Devon Toews
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

Todd Bowles will indeed be the new defensive coordinator of the Buccaneers. 

The former Jets head coach, who was fired after the season, worked out a deal to finalize his move with the team announcing the hiring on Wednesday.

Bowles reunites with Bruce Arians -- whom he was defensive coordinator for two years with the Arizona Cardinals before accepting the Jets head coaching job. 

Tags: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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New York Rangers center Ryan Strome heads into the corner after the puck during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. (John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers center Ryan Strome heads into the corner after the puck during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. (John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports)

The explosive Tampa Bay Lighting offense hosts a New York Rangers team on Monday that struggles to keep the puck out of the net while away from home.

Coming off a 7-1 dismantling of the Colorado Avalanche for a sixth consecutive victory, the Lightning lead the league with 122 goals scored, 13 more than anybody else. Tampa Bay has scored five or more goals in a game 12 times through 31 games.

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Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat pushes New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri into the net during second period at Prudential Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat pushes New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri into the net during second period at Prudential Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The last-place Devils were blown out by the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Monday at Prudential Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 13:31 TB Nikita Kucherov; Assists: Brayden Point, Ryan McDonagh
  • 19:34 TB Brayden Point (power play); Assists: Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman

Second period:

  • 8:20 TB Tyler Johnson; Assists: Ryan McDonagh, Nikita Kucherov
  • 11:26 NJD Egor Yakovlev; Assists: Sami Vatanen, Stefan Noesen
  • 12:39 TB Yanni Gourde; Assists: Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat
Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider reacts after he gave up a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider reacts after he gave up a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Devils goalie Cory Schneider allowed four goals in the first period en route to a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday at Amalie Arena. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:19 TB Alex Killorn; Assist: Mathieu Joseph
  • 7:21 TB Brayden Point (power play); Assists: Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman
  • 9:15 TB Tyler Johnson; Assists: Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov
  • 9:39 NJD Stefan Noesen; Assist: Brett Seney
  • 11:25 TB Cedric Paquette; Assists: Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi
Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning talks with Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul after their game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning talks with Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul after their game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said he had "no hard feelings" toward his old team after his Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Giants 38-35 on Sunday in Pierre-Paul's first game in New York not as a Giant.

"There are no hard feelings with the Giants at all," Pierre-Paul said, according to the New York Daily News' Pat Leonard. "At the end of the day it's business. Business is business."

The 29-year-old Pierre-Paul had spent his first eight seasons with New York before he was traded to Tampa Bay for two draft picks. A fixture on New York's defensive line, Pierre-Paul totaled 58 sacks and 13 forced fumbles as a Giant.

"He is one of the good guys in the NFL," Manning said.

Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. catches a touchdown pass while defended by Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Isaiah Johnson during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. catches a touchdown pass while defended by Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Isaiah Johnson during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said his goal of winning out and making the playoffs, even when New York was 1-7, was a realistic goal.

Two wins later, he's not backing down from it.

The Giants beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-35 on Sunday, their second straight victory after they entered the bye week on a five-game losing streak.

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When the Giants passed on a quarterback of the future and drafted Saquon Barkley, they were sure he was exactly what Eli Manning needed. They thought he'd be the weapon that could revive their offense. They imagined him adding years to Manning's career.

It took 10 games into this lost season, but now everyone can really see why.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws a pass under pressure from San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner at Levi's Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws a pass under pressure from San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner at Levi's Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Giants (2-7) vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m.

THE WEATHER

Snowpocalypse is apparently over for now, and it should be a relatively pleasant but chilly day for this game. The high temperature will be in the low 40s, but it'll be mostly cloudy with the usual light Meadowlands winds, so it'll probably feel like it's in the 30s. The good news is with no more snow in the forecast, Northern New Jersey might have the roads cleared by kickoff.

WHAT IT MEANS

If you're rooting for the tank so they can get a higher draft position, then this is another huge game against a team that figures to be in the mix for a top-10 or even top-five pick. As bad as the Giants are, a couple of wins could push them much closer to 10 and that much farther away from being in the mix for a franchise quarterback. That's not so important to the players and coaches on the field, though, so for them, this is another golden opportunity to keep things positive and for Pat Shurmur to keep his locker room together. I know, for the tankers, that doesn't mean much, but trust me, it means the world to the franchise.

Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) reacts as he missed a shot on goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) reacts as he missed a shot on goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Josh Bailey scored two goals and the Islanders had 37 shots, but Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy kept his team in it as the Lightning came away with the 4-2 win Thursday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:40 NYI Josh Bailey; Assists: Brock Nelson

Second period:

  • 5:58 TBL Mathieu Joseph; Assists: Alex Killorn, Anton Stralman
  • 11:12 TBL J.T. Miller; Assists: Mikhail Sergachev, Steven Stamkos

Third period:

  • 8:43 NYI Josh Bailey; Assists: Adam Pelech, Mathew Barzal
  • 18:34 TBL Tyler Johnson; Assists: Nikita Kucherov, Yanni Gourde
  • 19:50 TBL Steven Stamkos (Empty Net); Assists: J.T. Miller, Ryan McDonagh
Tags: Josh Bailey, Tampa Bay Lightning
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Oct 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) celebrates his goal with right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (14) and center Casey Cizikas (53) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. New York won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Oct 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) celebrates his goal with right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (14) and center Casey Cizikas (53) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. New York won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Tampa Bay Lightning look to continue their winning ways against the resurgent New York Islanders when the teams meet Thursday at Amalie Arena.

The Lightning enter with a three-game winning streak and have won four of the past five games to sit atop the Atlantic Division standings.

The Islanders saw their five-game winning streak end on Monday at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens but remain at the top of the Metropolitan Division standings. >> Read more

 

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen skates with the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point defends during the first period of Game 2 of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen skates with the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point defends during the first period of Game 2 of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

As the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils shifts to the Prudential Center for Game 3 Monday night, one team espouses change while the other is quite fine with the status quo.

It is not hard to determine which team is which after the Lightning held serve on home ice, winning the first two games. Now it's up to the Devils to change the narrative as the series shifts to Newark, but that may be easier said than done.

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (4-5) take on the Buccaneers (2-6) on Sunday in Tampa, Florida, at 1 p.m. Here's what's going on Tuesday:

Need to know

The Jets will practice today at Florham Park. The team will likely provide injury updates within the next day or two.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice later this week. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors.

Tags: Darron Lee, Jeremy Kerley, Muhammad Wilkerson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants' woes 00:04:39
Marc Malusis and Ralph Vacchiano debate who is to blame for the Giants' disappointing 0-4 start to the season.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

As a rookie head coach last year, Ben McAdoo had to deal with a kicker suspended for domestic violence and the organization's mishandling of his status, a boat-load of receivers flying to Miami to party right before the playoffs and his offense collapsing, all while trying to fix a team that had become a perennial loser.

That was easy compared to what McAdoo has to do now.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ralph Vacchiano
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FNNY: What went wrong in Tampa? 00:01:49
The Football Night New York crew discusses what went wrong in Tampa for the Giants in Sunday's loss.

After Sunday's last-second loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped the Giants to 0-4, New York reportedly saw its playoff odds diminish to around 1 percent.

The Giants, who lost 25-23 on Nick Folk's game-winning field goal as time expired, had a 4.4 percent chance at making the playoffs, according to Football Outsiders, and now they are around 1 percent, according to ESPN Stats & Info, via the New York Daily News' Pat Leonard.

"We have to figure this out fast, because we're so far in a hole that it's hard to see," cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said, according to Leonard.

Tags: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jonathan Casillas, Justin Pugh, Odell Beckham Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans catches the ball on the half yard line over New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans catches the ball on the half yard line over New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Jameis Winston threw for 332 and three touchdowns without an interception, and Nick Folk kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 25-23 victory over the winless New York Giants on Sunday.

Folk redeemed himself after missing two field goals and an extra point earlier in the day, booting the winner after Winston answered Eli Manning's second TD pass of the day with an impressive drive that began at his 25.

The Giants (0-4) lost on a last-second field goal for the second straight week. They took a 23-22 lead on Rhett Ellison's 2-yard TD reception with 3:16 remaining. Manning threw to Odell Beckham Jr., in the rear of the end zone for a 2-point conversion that was disallowed because the receiver had stepped out of bounds before making the catch. >> Read more

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Eli Manning, Nick Folk, Odell Beckham Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Wayne Gallman
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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. catches a four-yard touchdown pass against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. catches a four-yard touchdown pass against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Giants (0-3) at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1), at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 4:05 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

It will be warm, muggy and maybe a little rainy. The temperatures are expected to be in the high 80s and there's a 60 percent chance of evening thunderstorms, which could make for a messy second half of the game.

WHAT IT MEANS

The Giants are already in deep trouble and the odds are decidedly against them. Only three teams have reached the NFL playoffs after an 0-3 start since the playoffs expanded in 1990. Right now, before they think about anything else, they need to stop the bleeding. Their last 0-3 start came in 2013, and they ran that all the way to 0-6 before they started to play to their capabilities, going 7-3 over their final 10 games. Maybe this season is already over, who knows? But they desperately need a win to make sure things don't get worse, either in the standings or in the locker room. Then they can reassess everything from there.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, Justin Pugh, Odell Beckham Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ralph Vacchiano
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants, still winless heading into Week 4, hope that their defense can help them rally to pick up their first victory of the season in Tampa Bay this Sunday. 

While New York came in with a highly touted defensive corps, the unit as so far been toward the bottom of the pack statistically, ranking 16th in yards allowed per game (334.3) and 23 in points per game (23.3). This weekend they'll have the task of going up against Jameis Winston, who has thrown for 532 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. So far this season the Giants have just two takeaways, both of them being fumble recoveries.

"We know they're explosive," Janoris Jenkins said Wendnesday. "On the outside, they've got some big threat receivers. Jameis is going to try to force the ball and get it up anyway he can. He's mobile and he's the leader of the team." 

Tags: Janoris Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Kristers Gudlevskis (50) works out prior to game three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Kristers Gudlevskis (50) works out prior to game three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have acquired goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis from the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Carter Verhaeghe. 

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh plays the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh plays the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Rangers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, on Monday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more


First period:

  • 5:53 NYR Steven Kampfer; Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider
  • 7:43 TB Brayden Point (power play); Assists: Nikita Kucherov, Jonathan Drouin

Second period:

  • 5:04 TB Gabriel Dumont; Assist: Jason Garrison
  • 10:22 NYR Michael Grabner

Third period:

  • 13:32 TB Point; Assists: Ondrej Palat, Kucherov
Tags: Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, Michael Grabner, Tampa Bay Lightning
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New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh watches as his shot goes past Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek for a goal in the second period at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh watches as his shot goes past Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek for a goal in the second period at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Rangers host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m.

According to STATS:

  • This is the third and final game between these teams this season. The Rangers have won the first two meetings and are looking for their third season sweep of the Lightning all-time (the first two were 2012-13 and 2008-09).
Tags: Ryan McDonagh, Tampa Bay Lightning
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Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat shoots the puck as New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta defends during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat shoots the puck as New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta defends during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Mika Zibanejad scored in overtime and Antti Raanta recorded a shutout as the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 1-0, Monday at Amalie Arena. >> Read more


First period:

  • N/A

Second period:

Tags: Antti Raanta, Mika Zibanejad, Ryan McDonagh, Tampa Bay Lightning
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Running back Rashad Jennings of the New York Giants celebrates his fourth-quarter winning touchdown during the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium. (Steve Flynn/USA Today Sports Images)
Running back Rashad Jennings of the New York Giants celebrates his fourth-quarter winning touchdown during the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium. (Steve Flynn/USA Today Sports Images)

While the New York Giants are still alive in the postseason and head to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers in the NFC wild-card round, their 2017 opponents became official on Sunday.

The Giants will have four road games on the West Coast next season, traveling to face the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders. 

In addition to home and road games against their division rivals, New York will travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next year.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins
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Quarterback Eli Manning in the New York Giants huddle (Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports Images)
Quarterback Eli Manning in the New York Giants huddle (Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

As much as the New York Giants wanted to clinch their first playoff berth since 2011 on the field in Philadelphia on Thursday, they know it doesn't really matter how they get in - just as long as they get in. And they can still get in four different ways this weekend, before they even have to think about playing their finale in Washington on Jan. 1.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, Ralph Vacchiano
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Can Giants win a playoff game? 00:02:53
The Daily News Live panel discusses if the Giants are good enough to win a playoff game on the road.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

Earlier this week, I gave you a long and complex look at the New York Giants' relatively simple playoff situation, which boils down to this: win and they're in, or hope they can avoid a three-way tie with the Lions and the Buccaneers.

The NFL made it even simpler. The Giants can clinch a playoff spot in Week 16 if any of these five things happen:

Tags: Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) plays the puck in front of Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) plays the puck in front of Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

The Islanders (5-6-2) travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning (7-5-1) on Thursday night.

According to STATS:

  • The Islanders beat the Canucks, 4-2, in New York on Monday, snapping a three-game losing streak. They lost four consecutive games only once all of last season. It was just the third time this season they've gotten at least four goals, more than only eight other teams.
Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

TAMPA, Fla. -- The NHL schedule provides opportunities for quick revenge sometimes, and nine days after the Tampa Bay Lightning handed the New York Islanders a 6-1 loss on their home ice, the two teams square off again at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

The Islanders (5-6-2) ended a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win Monday against Vancouver -- the Canucks' ninth straight loss -- while the Lightning hope to bounce back from a 3-1 loss at Florida on Tuesday that left them with a 7-5-1 record.

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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Nov 3, 2016; Sunrise, FL, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Beau Bennett (8) shoots the puck on Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer (34) during the first period at the BB&T Center. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2016; Sunrise, FL, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Beau Bennett (8) shoots the puck on Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer (34) during the first period at the BB&T Center. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Devils head to the road to take on the Lightning on Saturday night in Tampa Bay. 

According to STATS...

  • The Devils allowed a season-high four goals and dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Panthers at BB&T Center on Thursday night. At 3-0-2 in its last five tilts, New Jersey is looking to record its first 6+ game point streak since going 5-0-1, January 19-February 6, 2015. 
  • Tampa Bay lost, 4-3, in a shootout with the Bruins at Amalie Arena on Thursday night, and has now dropped four of its last five contests overall (1-3-1 record). The Bolts are 11-0-1 the last 12 times they've potted three or more goals in the regular season (dating to March 22 last season).
Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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Nov 3, 2016; Sunrise, FL, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing PA Parenteau (center) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Florida Panthers during the third period at the BB&T Center. The Florida Panthers defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2016; Sunrise, FL, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing PA Parenteau (center) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Florida Panthers during the third period at the BB&T Center. The Florida Panthers defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils meet for the third and final time this season Saturday -- all in the first month of the season -- and after splitting the first two meetings, Tampa Bay might want to try a different start.

In both a 3-2 win in Tampa three weeks ago and a 3-1 loss on the road last weekend, the Lightning opened the game down 2-0 to the Devils after one period, an early struggle that's been a regular part of the Lightning's season so far. They're 6-4-1, but they've given up the first goal in seven of those 11 games.

"Clearly, it's troublesome," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper after another 2-0 deficit in Thursday's home shootout loss to the Bruins -- in the 10th frame of the shootout. "We fell down (Thursday) but I didn't think we should have been down 2-0. When they got their legs under them, they played well enough to win."

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers win 00:01:34
Justine Ward breaks down the Rangers' 6-1 victory over Tampa Bay, while players and head coach Alain Vigneault react to the win.

Michael Grabner recorded a hat trick and the New York Rangers scored four goals in the second period en route to a 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Tags: Dan Girardi, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Tampa Bay Lightning
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Oct 28, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing PA Parenteau (11) celebrates his goal during the first period of their game against Chicago Blackhawks at Prudential Center. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing PA Parenteau (11) celebrates his goal during the first period of their game against Chicago Blackhawks at Prudential Center. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Devils take on the Lightning at the Prudential Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday night. 

According to STATS...

  • The Lightning have won each of their last five games versus the Devils, tied for their longest win streak versus New Jersey all-time (also October 18, 2003 to October 26, 2005). During its current five-game win streak versus the Devils, Tampa Bay has outscored New Jersey, 18-8.
  • The Lightning lost, 3-1, at Montreal on Thursday and are now 5-0-0 when scoring multiple goals and 0-2-0 when scoring one or fewer this season. Tampa Bay has yet to lose consecutive games this season, and its road loss at Montreal was its first loss away from home on the year.
  • Steven Stamkos has totaled 27 points in 26 career games played versus the Devils. Stamkos has scored a goal in each of his last four games versus New Jersey, overall, and has lit the lamp in each of his last three road games versus the Devils.
  • Alex Killorn scored a goal on Thursday, his sixth of the season (tied with Patrik Lane, Auston Matthews and Richard Panik for the most in the NHL entering the weekend). Killorn has scored a goal in six of Tampa Bay's seven games this season.

© 2016 by STATS

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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Oct 28, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Yohann Auvitu (33) reacts to a game winning goal by Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (not shown) during overtime at Prudential Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Devils 3-2 in overtime. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Yohann Auvitu (33) reacts to a game winning goal by Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (not shown) during overtime at Prudential Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Devils 3-2 in overtime. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours after allowing a late lead to slip away before losing in overtime, the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night will face a stiff test at Prudential Center from one of the NHL's top teams.The Tampa Bay Lightning, who have won five of seven to start the season and enjoyed a day off Friday while the Devils were losing to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2, erased a 2-0 deficit in their first meeting with the Devils on Oct. 15 and earned a 3-2 regulation win.

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene (6) skates with the puck past Florida Panthers center Colton Sceviour (7) in the first period at BB&T Center. Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene (6) skates with the puck past Florida Panthers center Colton Sceviour (7) in the first period at BB&T Center. Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Devils (0-1) go for the first win of the season against the Lightning in Tampa Bay (1-0). According to STATS...New Jersey lost, 2-1, in overtime to the Panthers at BB&T Center Thursday night, dropping its season opener for the third time in the last four campaigns. The Devils have 51 overtime/shootout losses since 2012-13 -- most of any team in the league.

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New Jersey Devils defenseman Yohann Auvitu (33) celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with New Jersey Devils Kyle Quincey (22) in the first period at BB&T Center. Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils defenseman Yohann Auvitu (33) celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with New Jersey Devils Kyle Quincey (22) in the first period at BB&T Center. Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The new-look New Jersey Devils are determined to make sure a two-game swing through Florida produces more than a case of sunburn.The Devils debuted a new lineup that includes the likes of Taylor Hall, P.A. Parenteau and a healthy Mike Cammalleri with mixed results in an opening night overtime loss to the Florida Panthers.

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Florida Panthers during the third period of game four of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Florida Panthers at Barclays Center. The Panthers won 2-1. (Andy Marlin)
New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Florida Panthers during the third period of game four of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Florida Panthers at Barclays Center. The Panthers won 2-1. (Andy Marlin)

Yesterday, Brian Erni and I started breaking down the second round series between the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning, which begins tonight with Game 1 at Amalie Arena (7pm ET, NBCSN). 

Today, we continue by taking a look at where these teams stand defensively and in goal, the most important positions that will decide who advances to the Eastern Conference final against either the Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins.

Tale of the tape defensively

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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) sets up in front of the Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo (1) during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. The Islanders defeated the Panthers 2-1 to win the series four games to two. (Andy Marlin)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) sets up in front of the Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo (1) during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. The Islanders defeated the Panthers 2-1 to win the series four games to two. (Andy Marlin)

The New York Islanders are in unfamiliar territory. It had been 23 years since they have advanced past the first round of the NHL playoffs, a feat they accomplished by winning consecutive double overtime games, both by 2-1 scores, to eliminate the Florida Panthers in six games.

Things don't get any easier from here forward. New York will now be playing one of last year's Stanley Cup finalists, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who despite having fewer points in the regular season (100-97), will start the series at Amalie Arena in Tampa tomorrow evening.

Both teams come in with some issues, both in their play and on the injury list. Statistically, they match up, maybe surprisingly, fairly even, as the Islanders and Panthers did. But this series will go way beyond statistics and 'fancy stats'. The team that wants it more will be the team advancing to the Eastern conference final. The team who pays more of a price will get rewarded.

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock reacts after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock reacts after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

John Tavares got his 30th goal and two assists, and the New York Islanders scored three times in a 5:15 span to get a crucial 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.

Ryan Pulock, Matt Martin, Brock Nelson and Johnny Boychuk also scored for the Islanders, and Thomas Greiss had 32 saves. New York holds the Eastern Conference's first wild-card spot and won for the third time in four games to reduce its magic number to two over Boston to secure a third straight postseason berth.

Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning, and Ben Bishop gave up five goals on 23 shots. Tampa Bay is two points behind first-place Florida in the Atlantic Division.

Tags: Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Matt Martin, Tampa Bay Lightning, Thomas Greiss
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

The Islanders host the Lightning on Monday at 7 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • The Lightning beat the Devils, 4-2, at Amalie Arena on Saturday night, finishing up their six-game homestand with a mark of 4-2-0. With a win tonight, Tampa Bay will clinch its third consecutive postseason berth.
  • Tampa Bay's leading goal-scorer, Steven Stamkos will be out for 1-3 months due to a blood clot in his right arm (surgery is today). Dating to the beginning of 2013-14, the Bolts are 118-61-17 (.645) with Stamkos in the lineup, and 23-18-5 (.554) without.
  • The Islanders were throttled, 5-0, by the Penguins at Barclays Center on Saturday, snapping their three-game winning streak in the process. New York has been blanked twice in its last eight contests (was shut out just twice in first 69 games of the season).
  • These clubs have split their first two meetings of the season, both of which were played at Amalie Arena. New York, which will be hosting Tampa Bay at Barclays Center for the first time tonight, is 7-0-1 in its last eight home games against the Lightning.
  • Nikita Kucherov had a goal and two helpers Saturday night, and is now tied with Steven Stamkos for the team lead in points (64). Kucherov, who has nine points in his last six skates (5g, 4a), has a marker and two assists in eight career games against the Islanders.
  • Including one point in each of his first two skates against the Lightning this year, John Taveras has two goals and a helper during his current three-game point streak vs. the Bolts. Taveras has at least one point in 16 of his last 19 games vs. Tampa Bay (8g, 14a total in those contests).
Tags: John Tavares, Tampa Bay Lightning
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New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

The New Jersey Devils face the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Devils have gone 9-2-2 over their last 13 road games against the Lightning, while four of the last five games in Tampa Bay were decided by a single goal.
  • Each of the Lightning's last five games have been decided by at least three goals -- tied for the second-longest such streak in the NHL this season (Calgary has an active such streak of seven games entering the weekend).
  • The Devils, who have lost back-to-back road games by 3-2 margins, have scored more than three goals just once over their last 23 road games.
  • With a victory on Saturday, the Lightning will reach 45 wins for the third consecutive season. Prior to the 2013-14 season, the Lightning had won at least 45 games just twice (46 in both 2003-04 and 2010-11).
  • Kyle Palmieri has scored 29 goals this season -- one more than he had in his previous two seasons combined. With one more goal, he will become the Devils' first 30-goal scorer since the 2011-12 season, when Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and David Clarkson all had at least 30 goals.
  • Steven Stamkos, who has scored seven goals over his last nine overall games, has scored six goals over his last seven games against the Devils.
Tags: Kyle Palmieri, Tampa Bay Lightning
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Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos celebrates as right wing Nikita Kucherov scores a goal against the New York Islanders during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos celebrates as right wing Nikita Kucherov scores a goal against the New York Islanders during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)

Tyler Johnson and Jason Garrison scored 23 seconds apart midway through the third period and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders 7-4 on Friday night.

Johnson had a go-ahead rebound goal at 10:09 before Garrison stopped a 26-game goal drought and put the Lightning up 6-4. Garrison also had two assists after going 18 games without a point.

Tampa Bay also got goals from Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Steven Stamkos, Andrej Sustr and Victor Hedman, who had an empty-netter.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Johnny Boychuk, Nikolay Kulemin, Tampa Bay Lightning, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy carries the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy carries the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders face the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Islanders have won three in a row against Tampa Bay and are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games against the Lightning. Including tonight, the two teams meet twice in the next 11 days.
  • The Islanders and Lightning are ranked fourth and fifth in the NHL in goals by Centers - the Isles' have 94 and the Lightning 89. Dallas leads the NHL in this category with 115 goals from Centers.
  • The Islanders have scored three goals or fewer in each of their last nine games, tied for the third-longest active streak in the NHL. They have a total of 16 goals and a 3-4-2 record during this stretch.
  • Nick Leddy's assist in the Isles' win over Ottawa on Wednesday was his 37th point of the season, tying his career high (also 2011-12 and 2014-15). Mark Streit is the only defensemen since 2007-08 who has posted at least 38 points in a season for the Islanders.
  • The Lightning had seven players earn at least two points in Tuesday's 6-2 win over Detroit, tying a team record that's been done four previous times, the last occasion was October 10, 2013, against the Florida Panthers.
  • Steven Stamkos is one goal away from his fifth career 35-goal season. Vincent Lecavalier (three) and Martin St. Louis (two) are the only two players with more than one 35-goal season for the Lightning in their history.
Tags: Nick Leddy, Tampa Bay Lightning
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New York Giants defensive end Robert Ayers (91) sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the first half at Metlife Stadium. (NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)
New York Giants defensive end Robert Ayers (91) sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the first half at Metlife Stadium. (NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

The Buccaneers will sign former Giants defensive end Robert Ayers to a three-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport.

Ayers will get a $21 million deal, with $10.5 million guaranteed.

Ayers spent the last two season with New York, picking up 14.5 sacks combined (9.5 sacks in 2015).

He had 63 total tackles, five passes defended and three forced fumbles over his tenure with the Giants.

Tags: Robert Ayers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Andrew Vazzano
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New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider makes a save on Tampa Bay Lightning center Jonathan Marchessault during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)
New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider makes a save on Tampa Bay Lightning center Jonathan Marchessault during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)

Steven Stamkos extended his goal-scoring streak to a season-high five games and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the fading New Jersey Devils 4-0 on Friday night for their fifth straight win.

Ben Bishop made 21 saves for his third shutout of the season. Alex KillornOndrej Palat and Matt Carle also scored as the Lightning sent the Devils to their second loss in as many nights and fifth in six games.

Stamkos' goal-scoring streak is two games shy of his personal best, set in 2010.

Tags: Cory Schneider, Tampa Bay Lightning
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NHL linesman Darren Gibbs talks with New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri during a time-out against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
NHL linesman Darren Gibbs talks with New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri during a time-out against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

The New Jersey Devils host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Prudential Center on Friday at 7 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • The Devils have won 12 of their last 15 home games against the Lightning, despite both teams scoring exactly 12 power-play goals over the stretch.
  • The Devils, who have lost four of their last five games, have seen three of their last five games decided by at least three goals.
  • While the Lightning have scored just nine of their 36 power-play goals on the road this season, the Devils have scored on 40 percent (10/25) of their power plays at home since January 21.
  • The last time the Lightning faced the Devils (last April 9 at home), both Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat had a trio of assists, which marked just the second time since the 2011-12 season that the Lightning had a pair of skaters with at least three assists in a game (also December 31, 2014 vs. Sabres -- Tyler Johnson and Palat, both three).
  • Kyle Palmieri scored his eighth power-play goal of the season at home on Tuesday night. Over his first five NHL seasons, Palmieri scored a total of just seven power-play goals.
  • Steven Stamkos has scored a goal in each of his last four games -- tied (with Toronto's Josh Leivo) for the longest active goal streak in the NHL.
Tags: Kyle Palmieri, Tampa Bay Lightning
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The Yankees (21-13) take on the Rays (18-16) tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET.?

Adam Warren (2-1, 4.65 ERA) will start for the Yankees against RHP Nathan Karns?(2-1, 3.79 ERA) of the Rays.

These two pitchers are meeting for the third time this season. Neither has earned a decision in their first two match ups but the Yankees won each game.

Tags: adam warren, james loney, nathan karns, new york yankees, rays, tampa bay rays, Yankees, Tim Reilly
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