The New York Rangers (6-5-0) defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning(6-5-0) by a score of 5-1. It was the second time the Rangers defeated the Lightning this season.
For the full box score click here.
When you score :31 seconds into the game it is generally a good sign of things to come. The Rangers made some defensive mistakes in the 1st period, but Henrik Lundqvist was locked in and turned away three or four great chances to keep the Lightning scoreless. Ryan Callahan scored a b-e-a-u-tiful breakaway goal after forcing a turnover, giving the Rangers up by two going into the first intermission.
The 2nd period featured each team with one goal a piece, including Carl Hagelin’s second of the game. Arron Asham and Rick Nash each netted one in the 3rd period.
Things I Loved:
- I loved Henrik Lundqvist. Two games in a row he has looked like the reigning Vezina trophy winner and, in my opinion, won the game for the Rangers in the 1st period. If he doesn’t stand on his head for that 10-12 minute stretch where the Lightning are getting odd man rushes and breakaways, then it is a completely different game. Somehow the Lightning were only credited with six shots in that period, but if that is the case, then all six were legitimate scoring chances.
- I loved Carl Hagelin. Hagelin is looking more like the player who was the Rangers spark plug after his call up last season. I haven’t listened to the post game interviews yet, but I cannot imagine John Tortorella having anything bad to say about his performance.
- I loved the effort. The Rangers played their most complete game from start to finish all season. Even when it was time to run out the clock Rick Nash was scoring a goals and the team continued to hustle through the last puck drop.
- I loved the fourth line. With Darroll Powe now on the team and Asham playing a huge role, the fourth line has given the Rangers legitimate depth. All the members of the fourth line played between 8:30-10 minutes, which really helps keep Cally, Gabby, and Nash fresh. Not one forward had over 20 minutes of ice time and Derek Stepan (19:48) had the most ice time. That, is a recipe for success.
- I loved Dan Girardi. How can you not love the Iron Man? Misses two games, comes back, has two assists, and is a +4.
I Did Not Love:
- I did not love the 1st period defense. This is nitpicking, but they gave up too many good chances and it was the only thing that stopped this from being considered a “perfect” game.