Eastern Finals Rematch

The November mustaches were out as the boys in blue went into Tampa seeking their tenth victory in a row, but this game actually began 5 months ago  last June as Tampa Bay sent us packing….Do not think for a second the Rangers have forgotten about going into the 3rd period knotted up 0-0 just to walk away defeated in what was possibly the worst home loss in the past 30 years Former captain now foe Ryan Callahan was not dressed for this contest.

Each team came out flying, Matt Zuccarello took the game’s first penalty. On the Tampa power-play, Stepan was called for hooking in a controversial call in my opinion as Jonathan Marchessault was called for diving and coincidental minors were handed out. If a player gets called of diving then HE WAS NOT HOOKED!!! This rule MAKES NO SENSE and the NHL needs to address this asap. Let’s go Toronto time to pull your head out of your ass.

Marc Stall made a great play to keep puck out of the net and the boys in blue escaped the Lighting’s first power- play. A few minutes later Keith Yandle had a horrible turnover that lead to the first goal of the game as Lundquist was screened and it was borderline a soft goal.
After 20 minutes the Rangers were down 1-0. It was a pretty good road period in my opinion. Neither team had to0 much going on.

The Rangers seemed to find their legs in the 2nd period . Lundquist made a beautiful glove save on former Ranger and old fan favorite Brian Boyle. Rick Nash’s aggressiveness lead to him drawing a penalty to give the Rangers their first power play. Anton Stralman saved a goal on a sprawling save when Ben Bishop was out of place. Seemed like Derick Brassard could have just smacked it in on the back hand, but was generous ( like always) an tried hooking up his hobbit friend from Norway for the strike. The Rangers had 3 real quality chances on the power-play but Bishop stood on his head.

The most exciting part of this game so far was the scrub that ended the second period with Rick Nash giving the Lighting JT Brown a face smoosh and trash talking. JT Brown was in the Rangers face all night and until last night I have never heard about him but with all the Lighting injuries as of late JT Brown utilized his time on the ice.
The third period included a Penalty Shot when Chris Kreider was taken down going to the net on a breakaway. In these situations I always feel getting a Power Play is usually better but I can not deny one of the most exciting parts of the game. Unfortunately Kreider failed to score and the Rangers were still down 1-0.

With 6 minutes in the 3rd on a sloppy play by Bishop, Dominic Moore tied the game up with a great shot catching Bishop out of place. During this period things started to heat up when Brian Boyle and Kevin Hayes( 2 boys from Boston) went at each other along the boards deep in the Lighting zone. I am glad they did not fight because it would have been a pathetic portray of what a hockey fight should be as neither Hayes or Boyle can drop the gloves.

Each team exchanged bad penalties in the last 6 minutes leaving the Rangers on the power-play with a minute left on the clock. On the power-play, one to many passes between Stepan and Mcdonough took place when Mcdonough misplayed Stepan’s pass landing the puck on the stick of JT Brown to give the Lighting an odd man rush up the ice that ended the game with the puck past Hank with 30 seconds on the clock.

Overall I felt the Rangers played a lazy game and puck luck was not on our side. Losing a game for the first time in over a month is not the end of the world and now the Rangers will do something they have not had to do in over a month and that is rebound from a loss.
You can sense the how the game is going to play out but losing on a short handed goal with 30 seconds left is usually pretty bad. AV will get things right and the Rangers will be right back on the ice in Florida to take on the Panthers.

Player of the Game – JT Brown ( I Cringe to say That)

– Chris Fox