At times it wasn’t pretty, but has it ever been this season? The Rangers played one of their sloppier games tonight, but they still found a way to get the win, topping the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, in overtime.
The Lightning opened the scoring in the first period, when Steven Stamkos broke in alone and deked Martin Biron, opening his legs and went 5-hole for the 1-0 lead.
In the second period, the Rangers did something they haven’t been doing much this season: scored on the powerplay. A Michael Del Zotto slapshot from the point deflected off two sticks, including Ryan Callahan‘s and into the net, the team’s first goal with the man-advantage since late January against the Boston Bruins.
Just 56 seconds later, Derek Stepan gave the team the lead, burying a Dan Girardi shot from the bottom of the circle. It was short lived, though, as Vinny Lecavalier scored on his third shot to tie the game 2-2. Ex-Islander Bruno Gervais gave the Bolts the 3-2 lead.
Midway through the third, Brian Boyle found a loose puck and sent it on net to tie the game at 3. The goal came minutes after Boyle had an opportunity to tie it in front, but hit the post.
In overtime, Del Zotto led Artem Anisimov in the slot, who sent a no-look pass to Brad Richards, who beat Mathieu Garon for the game-winner.
My take after the break
- Not the best game, but they found a way to win, as usual. The team has a knack for curbing losing streaks before they happen. It was nice to see this team, who has been stymied lately in terms of offense, net four goals.
- Boy did Richards need that goal. He isn’t having a typical Brad Richards season, but he now has seven game-winning goals on the year. Not bad.
- Always happy to see Boyle scored. With the exception of maybe Callahan, no one works harder on every shift than Boyle. It’s great to see that work pay off.
- A powerplay goal? Now I’ve seen everything.
- I haven’t been too pleased with Biron’s play lately, but that was a couple great saves on Stamkos in the third with the game on the line.
- Really dirty hit by Dominic Moore on Ruslan Fedotenko, but it was just a two-minute minor. Moore could be facing a suspension, but the Rangers only get rewarded a minor. I don’t get it.
- Tough stretch coming up for the Blueshirts, with games against the Flyers, Capitals, Bruins and Blackhawks coming up. Should be interesting.