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Game 20: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the New York Rangers 4-1.

The first period was certainly memorable, and for the wrong reasons for the Lightning. They were out-shot 20-3, and they had blocked 13 shots on top of that. They didn’t play a lot in the offensive zone – obviously, as they allowed 20 shots – and failed to get their second and third shots on goal until near the end of the period.

Despite that, they were working hard. It’s just that everything went wrong for them. They were very lucky to get out of the first down by only one. They can thank Mathieu Garon for that.

The second started out similar to the first, but they managed to pull themselves together a bit more. Instead of chasing after the Rangers, they were making the Rangers chase them now and then. They had a couple of breakaways that they didn’t capitalize on, but then, they weren’t really able to get a breakaway in the first, so that was an improvement.

The third Rangers goal wasn’t very pretty, however. Garon was down, and the Lightning players just outside the crease weren’t in position to do much of anything. Needless to say, it was an easy point for the Rangers.

The third period has been the best period for the Lightning in 2013, and this game was no exception. However, the guy leading the charge was Alex Killorn – though, to be fair, he started ratcheting things up at the end of the second. The rookie was captain of Harvard’s hockey team last season, and it definitely showed in this game. He was the spark that got the Lightning going, but it ended up being too little, too late.

As a side note, it did look as though Vincent Lecavalier was playing hurt. It’s hard to say what exactly is wrong, however. But it wouldn’t be surprising if his heel that had been struck by a Sami Salo slap shot off of several weeks ago is still bothering him.

The best player of the game for Tampa Bay was Garon, by far. He kept the Lightning in the game, facing 42 shots. Then Killorn tried to rally the boys, and the rest of the team was glad to follow his lead. They were just unable to overcome the poor start and a good goalie in Henrik Lundqvist.

The Lightning’s next game is Saturday, 2 March. They will be at Boston for an afternoon game. Game time is 1 pm ET. Join us for the game thread at 12:30 pm.

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