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Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Rangers game

By Joe Smith

Thoughts and prayers to Fox Sports Sun Lightning reporter Paul Kennedy, who is recovering from prostate cancer surgery this week. On Hockey Fights Cancer Night, Lightning players and staff posed for a photo in the dressing room, each one holding a sign that said, "I fight for P.K." Me, too.

The Lightning gave up more grade-A chances in the first period against the Rangers than it had in some entire games this season. Credit goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy for making sure this one didn’t get ugly early. His best stop came on a breakaway by Kevin Shattenkirk.

Yanni Gourde’s shorthanded, tying goal in the second period shouldn’t have come as a surprise. He has been tremendous in his first full NHL season, the relentless forward picking up where he left off in his late callup last year. His line with Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat has been the most consistent for Tampa Bay.