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Point Hat Trick helps Bolts End Regular Season Ranger Woes

The Tampa Bay Lightning are coming off a big win Saturday night. They shut out the Philadelphia Flyers by a 7-0 final. Clearly, they would like to ride the momentum from that game forward down the home stretch of this season. But that will be no easy task tonight. For one thing, they have had five days off since that win and the Bolts tend to be rusty after extended breaks. Add to that the fact that they are playing one of the league’s top teams in the New York Rangers, and this could well be a rough night for the home team.

Coming into tonight, the Bolts have won just one of their last eight regular season games against the Rangers and that one win was in a shootout. This is a team that really seems to have the Lightning’s number in the regular season.

Lightning Ranger Woes Start Early

The Lightning did not get off to a particularly good start in this one. The Rangers dominated the faceoff circle, the shot clock, and the offensive zone time. The Bolts did kill off a penalty, but the Rangers broke through right before the 14-minute mark on a perfectly orchestrated two on one rush. Artemi Panarin took the feed from Vincent Trocheck and rifled it right past Andrei Vasilevskiy to put the visitors up 1-0.

Three minutes later, the Rangers would double that lead. Braden Schneider notched his fourth of the season with three minutes remaining in the period. Bolts would go to the dressing room down by a pair.

Making a Point in the Second

The Bolts were looking to get back into this one in the second Things did not look good for the most part. But they did eventually manage to break through. Brayden Point stole the puck from Jonny Brodzinski and found his line-mate Nikita Kucherov with a pass as he skated to the front of the New York net. Kucherov returned the favor by passing it right back to Pont who then beat Igor Shesterkin for his 34th of the season.

Duclair Fights off Ranger Woes

The Lightning might have lost seven out of their last eight regular season games to the Rangers, but Anthony Duclair was not part of those games. He made his presence felt here tonight as he tied the game for the Bolts with time ticking down in the second period.

Duclair found Brayden Point in front of the net. Point fired and Shesterkin came out to cover the puck, but it squirted away from him. Duclair pounced on it and drilled it past Shesterkin for his 18th goal of the season. Tie game with 1:17 remaining in the second period.

Bolts Fight to End Their Ranger Woes in Third Period

The Bolts had fought hard to tie this one in the second and did not want to lose their momentum in the third. Unfortunately, the Rangers had other ideas. They scored just 1:48 into the final frame to regain the lead 3-2.

But this time, the Lightning fought right back! It was Brayden Point again with a wicked shot to beat Shesterkin at 3:41 to knot us up at three.

From the Office of the Captain to the Hat Trick

At 12:08, the Rangers took their second penalty of the game. Less than halfway through, Point found Steven Stamkos in his power play office in the circle. Stamkos did what he does best and drilled his one-timer past Shesterkin to give the Bolts their first lead of the game.

Two minutes later, Brayden Point would strike again as the hats flew to the ice celebrating his third goal of the game.

And a minute and a half after that, the Rangers pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. Brayden Point came through again! He found Nikita Kucherov who, in turn, found the empty net.

And that was all she wrote! The Bolts fought hard tonight to overcome a major regular season foe as they beat the Rangers for the first time in regular season regulation since November of 2019!

Three Stars

1- Brayden Point- hat trick (third of the season), three assists- 6 points

2- Nikita Kucherov- one goal, four assists- 5 points

3- Anthony Duclair- one goal, great on-ice presence

Up Next

The Bolts head out for a big road trip starting with a stop in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday night. They will take on their in-state rivals, the Florida Panthers. Note the 6pm scheduled start time.




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