Tampa Bay Lightning Game 23: versus the New York Rangers
The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Rangers 5-1.
In a game that saw the return of Vinny Prospal, former assistant coach Mike Sullivan, and former head coach John Tortorella, the Lightning dominated in most categories on the scoring sheet. After a brief delay to replace the glass that Andrej Meszaros cracked with a slapshot 40 seconds into the game, the Bolts took the game and ran with it. They even managed to get Henrik Lundqvist, who is a very good goaltender in his own right, pulled halfway through the second period.
The game was well-played by the Lightning. While no one was particularly spectacular - at least, not in my opinion - they all played together as a cohesive unit. That's something we haven't really seen yet from them. Oh, certain lines have done that, sure, but not the entire team altogether at the same time.
Other than Vincent Lecavalier playing a little crankier and edgier than usual, no one player really stood out in my mind. In fact, one or two were remarkably quiet. Ryan Malone had a quiet night, as did Alex Tanguay. And while Mike Smith was solid, it was hardly his best game. But that's a good thing that no one player was carrying the team. That means that it was truly a team effort.
The most important part of the game was that the Lightning were able to hold on to the lead in a convincing fashion. It was too bad that they were unable to preserve the shutout for Smith, but they also didn't let the Rangers back into it. The last half of the game was very well played in that they managed to maintain a multi-goal lead instead of squandering it - as they have so many times this season.
The next game is tonight against the Dallas Stars. Game time is 8:30 PM Eastern. Stop in and say hi on the game thread.