Despite outplaying the Tampa Bay Lightning most of the game, the New York Rangers allowed a shorthanded goal at 18:03 of the third period and failed to score in a shootout to lose 3-2 and their send straight game. Former Ranger Dominic Moore haunted his former team, scoring both the game-tying goal and the lone goal in the shootout.
The Blueshirts shot out of the gate with an early lead – from a power play goal by Ryan Callahan at 7:40 of the first period – and controlled the play, even withstanding a Ryan Malone goal off a turnover from Ryan McDonagh. The game turned – in the Bolts favor – when Artem Anisimov scored a shorthanded goal but sparked the opposition with a “gun-shot” goal celebration directed at Tampa Bay’s net.
Join me after the jump for the full post-game report.
- The Rangers got off the to the start you would want any hockey team to: dominating the play and capitalizing on an early power play. They dropped the ball by not converting on their other two power plays of the period, which gave Tampa Bay a confidence boost.
- Unbelievable statement of the night: Ryan McDonagh had a bad game. It’s to be expected from a 21-year-old defenseman in his first full season in the NHL. But anyone who watches McDonagh play knows he’s as reliable as it comes, and to see him directly giveaway the puck for a goal (and to be a step behind on Moore’s tying goal) are growing pains in the development process.
- Dan Girardi had 32:00 of ice-time. That stat is exhausting just to read.
- Artem Anisimov’s shorthanded goal should have been a turning point for the Rangers. Instead, it turned the game around for the Lightning, who rallied around that and their captain Vinny Lecavalier and, ultimately, won the game. It’s nice to see some personality from the quiet, mild-mannered kid. But, Artie learned a valuable lesson in gamesmanship tonight. Maybe he’ll think twice about showboating for the HBO cameras next time.
- Too many second penalties in the second period. The discipline has to be apparent for an entire 60 minutes.
- Two power-plays late in the third and no goals scored. You have to be better than that if you’re goal is to be one of the best in the NHL.
- Brad Richards continues to tear it up, grabbing an assist to stretch his point streak to seven games. As our fearless leader Adam Herman tweeted during the game, Brad Richards’ vision is incredible. He nearly tied the game up in the final minutes of the game but was stoned by Matheiu Garon, who won his team the game with a great display of goaltending late.
- John Mitchell in the shootout, eh? Someone tell Erik Christensen he might be playing Saturday night…
- Give credit where credit is due: Steve Eminger stepped up in Michael Sauer’s absence. He logged 18:06 of ice time and played well. Eminger did take a stupid penalty midway through the second period, but he once again showed how he just does exactly what is asked of him.
- In his first game without his steady partner, Michael Del Zotto held his own quite well. He showed some much needed spunk and took exception to Dominic Moore taking swipes at his goaltender. His pass to Anisimov to set up his goal was a thing of beauty. Baby steps…
Make sure to head over to Bolts By The Bay for their thoughts on tonight’s game.
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