This was an interesting game to watch for sure. The Rangers dominated the first period, got dominated in the second, and then both teams played a relatively even third. Both teams exchanged short handed goals, but the Lightning’s shorty was a damaging one as it came in the final two minutes of regulation. The Rangers lost 3-2 in the shootout, but at least they got a point.
- Let’s start with the hot topic: Artem Anisimov’s goal. It was a beauty of a short handed goal, but then Anisimov showboated a bit, and Vinny Lecavalier took offense. To be fair, I would have too. Anisimov showboated, and it almost jumpstarted the Bolts. Great goal, bad idea. More on the penalties called on this below.
- Ryan Callahan does everything for this team. He stand in front of the net, he circles around, he plays the body, he just does everything. His goal was a softie by Mathieu Garon, but he got it up over his shoulder. What a player.
- There was a Brandon Dubinsky sighting this game. Before the Anisimov goal, Dubinsky had a great PK shift where he essentially killed 30 seconds of the penalty in the offensive zone. He’s been inconsistent, but when he’s on, he’s on.
- The Rangers powerplay looked good. They got shots on net, moved the puck well, and got a goal. However, they still don’t move around as much as one would hope.
- Derek Stepan has been tremendous, and perhaps the most improved aspect of his game is the one that is most overlooked: his face offs. He has been just fantastic in the circle, and tonight was no different.
- An example when speed kills: Carl Hagelin beating out the icing call in the second period after John Mitchell dumps it in. That simple play opens up a lot of opportunities for the offense. If he can get two more players that can skate with him on his line, they can be extremely dangerous.
- Ryan McDonagh sure did have a rough second period. That giveaway that led to the Ryan Malone goal was atrocious. And then he took a penalty 30 seconds later. McDonagh was trending on Twitter because of it, and not in a good way.
- Michael Del Zotto had a strong game. He made one stupid pass in the second period, but his physical play and his willingness to stick up for Henrik Lundqvist made me forget about it. Dominic Moore was slashing Hank all night, and MDZ defended him twice. He has really picked up his game. However, this was the second game in a row where he missed the net and the puck went all the way around and out of the zone. That needs to stop.
- Steve Eminger had a strong game, as did Jeff Woywitka and Anton Stralman. The Rangers won’t survive with those three in the starting lineup every night, but they sure did play well tonight.
- Dan Girardi is a beast. I think he took a shot to the sack in the third period and he still got up.
- The entire Rangers team did a great job shutting down Steven Stamkos.
- Hank needs to stop handling the puck. Seriously. He’s just not good at it.
- I believe that the Dom Moore goal was a bit of a softie as well, but it’s tough to gauge. Yes, it was deflected, but it was deflected at the point of release, so it didn’t really change directions.
- The refs dropped the ball on that scrum after the Anisimov goal. Steve Downie jumped off the bench, and should have received a game misconduct, not a misconduct. That will likely be reviewed by the league, it’s in the rule book. Expect Downie to get 10 games and the Bolts to get a $10,000 fine, as per the rule book.
- The Rangers are really lucking out when it comes to timing of their games. They have missed a lot of star players out with injuries, and tonight was no different. The Bolts were without Martin St. Louis tonight, and may be without him for a while.
- The Bolts play a different style of game when one of their elite talents is out. They played more of a trap and counterattack game than their usual forecheck/finesse style. Good adjustment.
- Garon played a good game, but the Rangers really shut down the Bolts all night. The Cally goal was a softie, but other than that Garon played well. He single handedly kept the Bolts from losing in OT.
- I hate the shootout. Even if the Rangers won, I hate the shootout.