Puck Mismanagement Cost Tampa Bay Lightning In 4-3 Loss To New York Rangers
The Lightning were hoping that they could take the positive momentum from Saturday’s third period against the Montreal Canadiens into the game against the New York Rangers on Sunday evening but instead the slow start plagued the Bolts for the second straight game.
The Rangers first goal came when Radko Gudas sent an errant outlet pass cross ice that was intercepted by Derek Stupan who sent the puck over to Rick Nash who tapped the puck past Lightning goalie Anders Lindback.
The Lightning came back to tie the game at the 10:41 mark of the opening period with a series of beautifully executed passes. The play started with Marty St. Louis dumping the puck down to Valtteri Filppula who passed it to Teddy Purcell just to the left of Rangers goalie Henri Lundqvist who shifted ever so slightly to his left as the puck was moved over to Tyler Johnson who scored his 10th goal of the season.
Shortly after tying the game the Lighting grabbed a 2-1 lead at the 16:05 mark. Radko Gudas received a pass from Jean-Philippe Cote and blasted a shot from the blue line that ricocheted off Lundqvist ending up on the stick of Ondrej Palat who delivered his sixth goal of the season.
The Bolts held the lead for a few short moments as a serious of unfortunate events struck the Bolts and the Rangers were the beneficiaries. Valtteri Filppula broke his stick on a face off and played the puck with his glove drawing the automatic 2-minute penalty for delay of game. Moments later Mats Zuccarello‘s cross ice pass deflected off the skate of Radko Gudas and into the goal to tie the game at 2-2.
The Lightning opened the second period and once again had trouble with clearing passes as Tom Pyatt attempted a clearing pass which was intercepted and led to a holding penalty on Dmitry Korobov. The Bolts penalty kill unit seemed to get caught watching as Zuccarello carried the puck into the Lightning zone and despite four defenders in front of him found Chris Kreider speeding behind the defense for an easy back handed goal to give the Rangers the 3-2 lead. It was Kreider’s 10th goal of the season and it came at the 4:35 mark.
The Rangers extended their lead to 4-2 on yet another power play goal. Zuccarello skated across the ice to Lindback’s right and sent a pass back to Derick Brassard who found Benoit Pouliot wide open in front of the net for the easy tap in to give the Rangers the 4-2 lead. It was Pouliot’s seventh goal of the year and it came at the 7:51 mark.
With a two goal lead the Rangers seemed content to sag back and allow the Lighting to attack during the 3rd period. The Bolts pressured the Rangers throughout the period outshooting them 16 to 6 in the period to give them a 40 t0 29 advantage for the game.
Despite the pressure applied by the Lighting Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was up to the task making several clutch saves in the final period. In his first start in four games he stopped 37 of 40 shots and earned the victory.
Anders Lindback played well for the Lightning stopping 25 of 29 shots and only allowed a single even strength goal.
After the game Dmitry Koborov, who recorded his first NHL point against the Rangers, was sent back to Syracuse of the American Hockey League.