The Tampa Bay Lightning started out down a goal, but they were able to battle back and defeat the New York Rangers 2-1.
This was the last meeting between these two teams this season. Add in the Lightning’s 5-0 win over the Rangers on November 25th at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and the Bolts have taken the season series.
Despite what the scoreboard said when the buzzer sounded on the first period, the Lightning really did play a solid first. The Lightning was very aggressive and owned the puck for a good portion of the period.
It wasn’t until 11:55 that the tide would turn in the Rangers’ favor. This is when former Lightning center Brad Richards would fire off a wrist shot that would find its way past Bishop with assists from right wing Ryan Callahan and left wing Carl Hagelin.
The second period is where things got really heated, really quickly.
Just 29 seconds into the 2nd period, the Lightning would get the first power play of the night as Callahan would nail Bishop in the face with his stick, sending him crashing to the ice. Despite arguing his case, Callahan was sent to the box for 2 minutes for High Sticking.
You remember how I have always said that the best revenge is to score? Well, apparently the Tampa Bay Lightning agrees wholeheartedly.
The Bolts would score not one, but two goals with a 9 second period. The first goal, on the Power Play, was scored by defenseman Victor Hedman with the assist of the Captain Martin St. Louis and right wing Teddy Purcell. The second goal was scored by right wing Nikita Kucherov for his 7th goal of the season. The assists on the Kucherov went to defenseman Radko Gudas and right wing J.T. Brown.
The Lightning was solid on the Penalty Kill tonight, killing both of their penalties.
Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop played tonight as if he had never missed a game. Bishop blocked 33 of 34 shots that were brought against him tonight. This gave him a Save Percentage of .971.
Even though they did not get the win tonight, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist had a pretty fantastic game as well. He stopped 23 of 25 shots brought against him for a Save Percentage of .920.
The team played far better tonight than they did in Columbus last night. The Bolts still struggled with turnovers midway through the first period, but they were able to overcome. The Lightning also did much better in regards to blocking shots.
It looks like Cooper really buckled down and addressed the issues before tonight’s game.
Your Three Stars of the Night:
What did you think of tonight’s performance? What do you think the Lightning need to take away from tonight’s performance in order to keep the momentum rolling against Islanders? Let us know what you think in the comments below.