SPORTS

NHL playoffs: 4 things to know for Rangers-Lightning Game 4

05/22/2015 12:59 EDT | Updated 05/22/2016 05:59 EDT
Like a great closer in baseball, it pays for even the best NHL goaltenders to have short memories, and the Lightning's Ben Bishop and Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers will be looking to do just that in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final.

Here are four things to know for tonight's game (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET).

Bishop bounces back

After getting a split in New York to open the series, the last thing Ben Bishop and the Lightning needed in Game 3 Wednesday was to face an early Rangers power play and have Derick Brassard put the Rangers on the board with their first shot of the game.

It would only be the start of an 11-goal shooting gallery where the Lightning would finally prevail in overtime 6-5.

The 27-year-old Bishop will likely focus on his 2.03 goals-against average and 10 wins in 16 starts, rather than his most recent outing against the Rangers. In the previous six-game series won over the Montreal Canadiens, Bishop allowed 13 goals, but six of them came in one lopsided 6-2 game when the Canadiens were battling against being swept.

Lundqvist scratching his head

Likewise, Henrik Lundqvist needs to concentrate on the positive. The 33-year-old still has a playoff goals-against average of 2.12 despite allowing six goals in back-to-back outings against the Lightning. 

How the Rangers could go from winning seven of nine 2-1 games in the playoffs to suddenly getting involved in free-wheeling shootouts has the Swedish star scratching his head. All agree it was a team effort.

But Lundqvist should zero in on how he prolonged his team's stay in overtime in Game 3, stopping this breakaway attempt by J.T. Brown.

Friday, it's a whole new ball game.

Red-hot Triplets line

The wide-open, entertaining and speedy pace of the last two games is playing right into the hands and flying feet of the playoffs' hottest line, Tampa Bay's Triplets. Tyler Johnson leads all scorers with eight goals, including a hat trick on Monday in the Lightning's 6-2 romp. Ondrej Palat scored two goals in Wednesday's win, while Nikita Kucherov fired in his seventh goal of the playoffs, the overtime winner.

The line combined for seven points in Wednesday's win and the Lightning are particularly deadly on the power play, making it dangerous for the Rangers to clamp down on them without drawing penalties.

Ice-cold Rangers guns

The Rangers have had numerous heroes throughout the playoffs — overtime winners from Ryan McDonaguh and Derek Stepan here, a Derrick Moore late game-winner there — but a couple of big guns are missing in action. 

Yes, you Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash.

St. Louis has yet to score in the playoffs, though he's had a ton of chances. This from a clutch performer who tallied seven goals and eight assists in last year's playoffs for the Rangers. In the 2011 post-season St. Louis collected 10 goals and an equal numbers of assists with the Lightning.

Nash, who has 378 regular-season goals, including 42 for the Rangers this season, is coming up nearly empty as well. The big winger has been limited to just a pair of goals, with five assists in 15 playoff games.

Probably time for these players to have short memories and start fresh in Game 4.

MORE:cbcSports