Chris Drury, right, congratulates Henrik Lundqvist after a 5-0 win...

Chris Drury, right, congratulates Henrik Lundqvist after a 5-0 win over the Islanders at Madison Square Garden. (Mar. 24, 2010) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

TAMPA, Fla. - Plenty of one-day tans visible in the visitors' dressing room at the St. Pete Times Forum Thursday. Now the Rangers hope they aren't burned in this two-game Florida trip that begins Friday night against the Lightning.

After all, the Rangers lost here, 5-1, on Nov. 27 in John Tortorella's return to the city where he coached for seven years.

But this game won't be about the coach, who declined to acknowledge the crowd's cheers from the bench in the last visit. This time his players need to extend their 3-0-1 streak that has them on the postseason bubble.

The Rangers were helped last night when the Flyers, Bruins and ninth-place Thrashers all lost in regulation. That means the Rangers still are four points out of a playoff spot, and two points behind the Thrashers.

Henrik Lundqvist, who is expected to start his 12th straight game in goal, said Wednesday's day off in the sun and an early one-hour practice Thursday was re-energizing. "It's been raining so much in New York, you can get depressed," said Lundqvist, who spent Wednesday out on the bay with some teammates. "I think it was a good call to come here right after the Islanders game. This is a good break. We're refreshed.''

Lundqvist said he refuses to think about the possibility that the Rangers will have to run the table with six games remaining. "You can't look at it that way,'' he said. "It's night-by-night."

Citing some defensive inexperience, Tortorella said forward Enver Lisin and defenseman Matt Gilroy again will not play. Center Corey Locke will play his second straight game since being called up from Hartford and 35-year-old Anders Eriksson will be back on the third d-pair with Wade Redden.

"We'd like him [Lisin] to think the game a little better," Tortorella said. "Locke is an offensive guy; we're going to give him a chance to produce some offense. With Lis, I don't want to get hurt by a lapse defensively. Same thing with Gilly. He's working at it."

Notes & quotes: Neither Ryan Callahan nor Sean Avery is very close to returning. Callahan (right knee) was on the bike and felt slightly better but didn't skate. Avery, his left knee wrapped, watched practice from near the glass and said there wasn't much improvement.

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