With the Rangers facing a strong playoff team that had seemingly flipped the switch to playoff mode, the Rangers played their game of the year (so far). For fans, this game had just about everything. It was fantastic 60 minute effort with tons of goals, four fights, and it felt like a playoff game.

There is now legitimate hate between these two teams nowadays, mostly because of how dirty the Lightning like to play, and the Rangers don’t let anyone push them around anymore. Despite Patrick Kane’s absence for a lower body injury and losing Jacob Trouba to a scary play in the first period, the Rangers beat the proverbial snot out of the Lightning both on the scoreboard and physically.

You like goals? This was the game: Tyler Motte and Chris Kreider had two goals apiece, Kaapo Kakko had a goal, and Artemi Panarin had a powerplay goal. Congrats to Kreider, who officially became the 5th best goal scorer in Rangers history passing Vic Hadfield. He’s in the conversation for an all time Rangers great who may have his number retired.

If you are a fan of old time hockey, there were a ton of scrums after whistles and chaos because of a severely questionable decision by Alex Killorn. I know you play to the whistle, but this is a horrible look

Igor Shesterkin is pretty good at selling bumps for sure, and this is what you want to see from your team. It was clearly a dumb play by Killorn, resulting in the entire team standing up for the best goalie in the world.  The Rangers have built a great team of guys who seem to genuinely like each other.  Winning is pretty fun when you enjoy the people you work with.

This is true organic hatred, not something manufactured by a broadcast. The Killorn bump, Corey Perry doing his usual thing then turtling when challenged by Ben Harpur, and all the other scrums help build that hatred. Rangers/Lightning is creeping up to Rangers/Devils levels of hatred.

As the Rangers gear up for the postseason, this was a pretty good game to build that mindset. The intensity, the skill, and the poise to come out of the game as well as they did is a great sign of hopefully what is to come in the next couple months. The Rangers out Lightning’d the Lightning.

You absolutely love to see this from the Rangers. Hopefully as the season winds down the injuries start to heal and the team can go into round one healthy. We have still not seen a fully healthy lineup yet for this group in a game.

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