Game 53: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the New York Rangers in overtime 4-3.

Shooting the puck seemed to have been a problem in this game. In the first period, the Lightning had four shots, and two of those were by Vincent Lecavalier - plus a post. (Posts don't count in shots on goal.) In the second it was better with ten shots, but then they had three shots in the third, and none in overtime.

Out of the total 17 shots on goal the Lightning had for the game, Lecavalier had five, Steven Stamkos had three, while Martin St. Louis didn't have any.

No shots in overtime? Really? How can you score a goal when you're not shooting?

The guys who kept the Lightning in this game were Lecavalier, Victor Hedman, and Mathieu Garon. Hedman had a bit of a thing going on with Brandon Prust, but he was still very active defensively with five hits (out of the team's total of 13) and five blocked shots. Nate Thompson had five blocked shots as well, and Brett Clark blocked four. Those three players had 14 of the total 21 blocked shots.

You can't fault the Lightning's defense too much in this game. They had some problems clearing the defensive zone in the first and the third periods, but they managed to keep the puck out of the net fairly well despite that. And Garon had some big saves when the occasional defensive breakdown happened.

It wasn't a bad game for Tampa Bay, necessarily, they just couldn't clear their zone and get shots on net. Though, Lecavalier was doing everything he could to get them to win, the third period they were bogged down in their own end. And overtime wasn't much better.

Some crazy stats of the night: Martin St. Louis did not have a shot on goal, and neither did Ryan Shannon; Lecavalier was the only one shooting on that line. Stamkos was in a similar position, being the only one on his line taking shots; he had three shots, while Steve Downie & Teddy Purcell were shotless. Dominic Moore won 11 of 14 faceoffs (79%). The Rangers had a total of 37 hits on the night. Matt Gilroy was one of three Lightning players who had a positive +/-; his was a team high +2 - J .T. Wyman and Brett Connolly were the only other players who were plus, and they were both a +1.

One last note - The Lightning can only lose 8 more games this season in order to make it into playoffs.

The next game is Saturday, 11 February, at the Buffalo Sabres. Game time is 7 pm Eastern. The Raw Charge game thread will be available at 6:30 pm, so come join us.

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