New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

Playing for the first time without captain Ryan McDonagh, the New York Rangers come away with a comeback victory against the Lightning.

  • New York Rangers 3 (45-26-9)
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (45-30-5)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Something happened to the New York Rangers starting in the second period of Tuesday night’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

They started to build energy. The feeling surrounding this increasing build was contagious. Guys were flying and the puck was moving.

The youth that head coach Alain Vigneaut injected into the night, in the form of Oscar Lindberg, Brady Skjei and Dylan McIlrath helped fuel the Rangers to a 3-2 win. And this came after easily the worst period of the season.

That period we speak about, the first period, saw Tampa compiled a ridiculous 21 shots. Henrik Lundqvist, who earned second-star status on the night, was forced to stand on his head and stop 19 of those shots.

Skjei, was just called up this morning in place of the injured Ryan McDonagh, was dreadful. Aside from shaking off that NHL rust, his jitters got the best of him on almost every shift he took.

But once the second period started, these youngsters settled down and the lineup started flying. The Rangers erased a 2-0 deficit from the first period and went on to the 3-2 win.

Derek Stepan collected two goals on the night (21, 22), setting a new career high:

Chris Kreider was the other goal scorer on the night. Check out this beauty, the eventual game-winner, scored in the third period:

What’s most encouraging is how the club battled after such a brutal first period. That, and the fact the Lightning were in position to pickup two points and clinch a playoff spot tonight.

Toward the end of the first period Tanner Glass was called for a five-minute interference penalty that resulted in a game-misconduct:

Considering the shots favored Tampa by an absurd count of 21-6 after the first, the final count of 41-28 looks a lot prettier.

What’s not pretty was how Brian Boyle was called for a boarding penalty late in the game. The play injured Dan Girardi who laid on the ice for quite some time and did not return. No update on his status has yet been provided.

With the New York Islanders winning tonight in Washington D.C., and clinching a playoff spot in the process, the Rangers maintain their two-point cushion on third place in the division:


Next up for the Blueshirts will be those Isles at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.

3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Stepan (Rangers – C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1
  2. Lundqvist (Rangers – G): Saves: 39, Save Pct.: 0.951
  3. Palat (Lightning – LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

NEXT: Brady Skjei, Not Dylan McIlrath, Is Better Replacement For New York Rangers Captain Ryan McDonagh

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]