Rangers rebound with OT victory

“All I wanna do is make you happy” Mika Zibanejad probably

After a weekend filled with commotion and possible panic from the front office, the Rangers rebounded with a tense 1-0 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Antti Raanta was the story of the game, making 38 saves for the win. Time and time again he was asked to make huge saves through traffic and off rebounds, and he answered the bell everytime. His new pads looked pretty sweet too.

Tanner Glass rejoined the team, a divisive decision on Rangers Twitter, and made an impact right away in the game. He forced a Victor Hedman turnover behind the Tampa net that resulted in a scoring chance. Just a few minutes later, he dropped the gloves in a long battle vs Tampa’s Witkowski, drawing loud cheers from the crowd. All in all Tanner only played 5:17 in the game and had a negligible impact on the game. Will AV continue to sparsely use Glass down the stretch instead of a forward thats able to play 12-15 minutes a game and contribute offensively?

The first period saw the Rangers outshoot Tampa Bay 12-9. Leading the way for the Blueshirts was the Kreider-Step-Zuc line. All game they were fast on the puck and getting shots on net, especially Stepan. If his play continues this way he will break his goalless streak sooner rather than later. In the second, the Rangers struggled again. The first 10 minutes seemed like a Tampa powerplay. They got great chance after great chance as the Ranger defense reverted back to how they played vs Montreal. Raanta was the only reason why the score was still tied after 2.

The third was more evenly played as the teams traded shots and chances, but the goalies were more than equal to the chance. Rick Nash almost ended the game a couple times as he went around Hedman twice in the last few minutes, but he was stoned by Vasilevskiy.

Quickly becoming Mr. OT for the Rangers, Mika Zibanejad score with a minute remaining in the OT session off a long break pass from Ryan Mcdonagh. Mika broke up the ice after Palat missed the net on a semi-breakaway. He faked a shot and then beat Vasilevskiy low glove side and the Ranger portion of the Amalie Arena crowd erupted.

The Rangers came out with more energy and passion than the last few games. This is more likely a result of a severe chewing out of the team by AV than the presence of Tanner Glass on the ice for five minutes. Kampfer played decently in his return to the lineup but only contributed 1 shot and not much else. If the Rangers are serious about making a deep playoff run then more speed and skill through the lineup is preferable to grit. Glass may hide in the lineup playing only a handful of minutes during the regular season, but during the playoffs when teams roll four lines this will be impossible. And then Glass’ presence in the lineup will be noticed.

Positives

  • Antti Raanta- 38 save shutout, pads look awesome, gave great hugs after the game
  • Derek Stepan- Even though he still has the goalless streak, he was very noticeable all game and shot the puck a lot.
  • Mika- OT GWG again, Rangers will need him to come up big down the stretch

Negatives

  • Too many penalties
  • Too many shots against
  • PP went scoreless again (looked better tho)

 

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