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Fist fights frequently occurred in a dispiriting loss to the Rangers

Fist fights were plentiful in what became a frustrating and lackluster performance for the Lightning and dominating win for the Rangers. What would have thought to be a battle of elite goaltenders instead became an intense physical battle at MSG. Top lines of the Lightning offense struggled while it was the bottom lines that did the heavy lifting. Andrei Vasilevskiy had a night he would want to forget as nothing went right defensively. One one hand, the Lightning did have enough chances to try and claw back from behind. On the other hand, the Rangers never put their foot off the gas pedal ensuring momentum always stayed on their side.


Rangers score a pair

To begin, Rangers applied early pressure which did not amount to much in terms of scoring. Lightning then countered back but also could not find the back of the net in the early minutes. Pace of the game remained fluid with the first 3 minutes passing by without a single whistle blown. Then, Rangers went on the power play looking to open up the scoring. On said power play the Rangers would do just that and take the 1-0 lead. Chris Kreider redirected a shot that went past Andrei Vasilevskiy to open up the scoring. Next, Rangers kept the offense going scoring another quick goal. Kappo Kakko scored to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead with a little more than half the period remaining.

Down in a hole

Unfortunately, the nightmare period continued as New York scored yet another goal. Tyler Motte extended the lead 3-0 and it seemed the Rangers had total control of the game. However, following the goal Tampa received their first power play of the night. Just like the Rangers, Lightning also scored their first goal on the man advantage. Alex Killorn made it a 3-1 game with his 25th of the season. It was a much-needed goal for the Bolts after New York dominated up until that penalty kill. Afterwards, Lightning nearly made it a one goal game with around 5 minutes left. Igor Shesterkin remained solid in net and kept the score 3-1.

Fist fight to fire up the squad

In an attempt to fire up the team Pat Maroon tried to get the fists talking and fought Ben Harpur. As a result, Maroon was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty meaning the Rangers would go on the power play. The penalty served by Corey Perry was killed off as the score remained 3-1 Rangers. Just as the period was coming to a close Tampa received a late power play that would carry over into the second period. Nikita Kucherov took a stick up high from K’Andre Miller which led to the late penalty being called.

Rangers continue the pressure

Second frame began with Tampa having much of the time left on the man advantage. Rangers killed off the penalty with ease nearly scoring shorthanded. After, play would settle down but that quiet play would not last long. What looked to be Darren Raddysh’s first career goal was instead awarded to Brandon Hagel. Immediately Motte answered the Hagel goal to give the Rangers a 4-2 lead. The goal was once again changed and awarded to Raddysh.  Clearly, this was a rough night for Vasilevskiy and the defense with the Rangers continuing to control the game. After, Perry is speared by Adam Fox giving the Lightning their third power play of the night. Rangers killed off that penalty keeping the score 4-2.

Keeping the score within reach

Confusion then occurred after it looked like the Lightning scored a goal. After review, Hagel is awarded a goal cutting the lead 4-3. Penalties were then called on Ryan Lindgren and Anthony Cirelli for roughing. Killorn was then also called for roughing as a result of bumping into Shesterkin. After everything was sorted out Rangers went on the power play yet again. Bolts were able to kill off the penalty keeping it a one goal game.

More fighting to end the period

Tempers continued to flare with Vincent Trocheck and Corey Perry dropping the gloves. Both are sent off for fighting with 4-on-4 hockey following suit. Prior to the period ending Ross Colton and Braden Schneider are given 5 minutes for fighting. Sadly, Colton was also given a minor for instigating and a 10 minute misconduct. Fist fights continued to happen due to the frustration from the Bolts. Maroon would serve the minor as the period came to an end.

Nightmare continues for the defense

Starting off, Lightning killed off the penalties but could not equal the score. Rangers continued to apply pressure but the score remained 4-3. For now the chaos died down as no further penalties were called as the period reached the halfway mark. Would the fist fights continue as the Bolts try to even the score? Lightning continued to play better offensively but Shesterkin remained to be stellar in net. Defense continued to slip up which allowed Kreider to score his second goal of the game. Rangers lead 5-3 with over 7 minutes to go in the third. After the goal Rangers went on their fifth power play of the night which at this point was 1 for 4. On the bright side, Colton was finally able to return to the bench after serving his misconduct penalty.

All hope is lost

Power play woes ended for the Rangers thanks to Artemi Panarin who scored to make it a 6-3 game. At this point all hope was lost for the Lightning. New York was resilient the entire night and that was too much for Tampa to handle. The night was a frustrating one for the Bolts top line as they really could not produce anything the entire night. Cirelli never returned after leaving the bench in the second period and the Rangers went on to win 6-3. After the game was over Perry fought Harpur despite it not being much of a fist fight. To summarize, Lightning will have to work on the defense if they are to have any hopes of defeating the Islanders in a back-to-back trip in New York.


Three stars of the game

1st Star: Tyler Motte – 2 goals

2nd Star: Chris Kreider – 2 goals

3rd Star: Mika Zibanejad – 3 assists


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