Igor Shesterkin made 38 saves and Mika Zibanejad recorded a hat trick as the New York Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-0, in a Sunday matinee at Madison Square Gardens. Andrei Vasilevsky returned from his stint in COVID protocol to make 17 saves on 21 shots. Anthony Cirelli also returned to the line-up from his quarantine while Erik Cernak returned from a lower-body injury.
The Lightning had their share of chances throughout the game as they generated 38 shots on net and posted a 3.53 expected goals for according to Natural Stat Trick. They just couldn’t solve Shesterkin who made 63 saves on 66 shots in the home-and-home against the Lightning.
Special teams was also a factor as the Lightning went 0-for-2 and the Rangers converted 2-of-3 (both on Zibanejad goals). Ryan Stome scored the other goal for the Rangers while Chris Kreider had three assists on the night.
To sum things up in a Tweet:
Jeez. Lightning do everything they could around the net and just can't find a way to put it in the net. Been frustrating to watch. Lightning aren't playing poorly... just can't buy a goal...— Raw Charge, a Champa Bay Lightning web site (@RawCharge) January 2, 2022
There’s really nothing else that needs to be said. It’s the type of game that the Lightning have been able to move on from over the past couple of years. They will get the chance to turn things around when they take on the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Tuesday looking to put an end to this three-game winless streak.