Sunday, October 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning falls to Rangers in OT (w/ video)

TAMPA — The Lightning had no business winning Thursday’s game against the Rangers.

Sure, it got a potential go-ahead goal waved off early in the third period due to a questionable goalie interference call. But that Tampa Bay squeezed a point out of a 2-1 overtime loss is thanks to another Herculean effort by goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

This one could have been ugly early had Vasilevskiy not bailed out the Lightning early with saves on several odd-man rushes. The last time Tampa Bay gave up that many chances in a game was in a 5-4 loss to the Panthers in Game No. 2, which it dubbed a wakeup call.

"The Rangers deserved to win that game," coach Jon Cooper said. "We played loose. We let them skate by us on a lot of occasions. We just can’t think it’s going to be a track meet every night and we’re going to skill all these out.

RELATED: Waved-off goal costly against the Rangers.

"If you take the goaltender interference out of it, that would have given us two (goals). (The Rangers) should have had six. It was like, ‘Don’t worry, ‘Vasy’ will get it.’ You can’t play like that."

The Lightning, off to a tremendous 10-3-1 start, isn’t going to be perfect every night. There will be games like this. But Tampa Bay didn’t match the desperation of the struggling Rangers (5-7-2), who drug the Lightning into another tight-checking game.

"They were desperate, and they played like it," Cooper said. "We didn’t play desperate. We played like it was Game 82 and we had already accomplished something. We haven’t accomplished anything."

Vasilevskiy fell one short of a franchise mark of wins in 10 consecutive decisions. But he played well enough to win. He was at his best early, making 33 saves overall. Tampa Bay got lucky when Michael Grabner hit the post five minutes in. Vasilevskiy made a great stop on J.T. Miller on a 2-on-1. Then he gloved a breakaway chance by Kevin Shattenkirk, who had just come out of the box.

It took a 3-on-1 for the Rangers to finally convert, Chris Kreider sneaking a shot through late in the first period.

"(Vasilevskiy) was amazing," forward Yanni Gourde said. "He’s been our best player since the start of the season. He’s been our MVP."

RELATED: Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Rangers game.

This game had a nasty feel to it. There were a few fights, Ryan Callahan and J.T. Brown each getting in a bout with Rangers defenseman Steven Kampfer. Victor Hedman got into a post-whistle scrum with Mats Zuccarello.

The Lightning tied it midway through the second on a shorthanded goal by Gourde. On a delayed penalty call on the Rangers, Brayden Point sparked a 2-on-1 with a great effort in the neutral zone, drawing a penalty. Hedman and Gourde had a give-and-go, with Gourde finishing for his third goal of the season.

Tampa Bay thought it took the lead early in the third when Alex Killorn’s point shot trickled through traffic. But the goal was quickly waved off due to goaltender interference against Gabriel Dumont, who appeared to be pushed into Henrik Lundqvist by Kampfer. The Lightning challenged to no avail, and the Amalie Arena sellout crowd of 19,092 let the referees hear it.

LIGHTNING STRIKES: In the latest podcast, Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones discuss whether Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov form the best duo in Lightning history.

"That was a bad call," Cooper said. "The only person in the building that thought it wasn’t a goal is the ref. He missed it."

On the overtime winner, Miller whipped around Gourde and then Point in front of the net, putting the puck top shelf. Gourde said there was a miscommunication.

Said Point: "(Miller) beat both of us."

For the Lightning, it was that kind of night.

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Rangers10012
Lightning01001

First Period—1, N.Y. Rangers, Kreider 4 (Skjei, Zibanejad), 18:34. Penalties—Shattenkirk, NYR, (holding), 12:49; Zuccarello, NYR, (slashing), 17:32; Hedman, TB, (roughing), 17:32.

Second Period—2, Tampa Bay, Gourde 3 (Hedman, Point), 11:00 (sh). Penalties—Kampfer, NYR, Major (fighting), 9:38; Callahan, TB, Major (fighting), 9:38; Namestnikov, TB, (cross checking), 10:01.

Third Period—None. Penalties—Brown, TB, Major (fighting), 3:01; Kampfer, NYR, Major (fighting), 3:01; Killorn, TB, (slashing), 3:01; McDonagh, NYR, (roughing), 5:04.

Overtime—3, N.Y. Rangers, Miller 3 (Shattenkirk), 1:19. Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—N.Y. Rangers 13-12-9-1—35. Tampa Bay 8-16-4—28. Power-play opportunities—N.Y. Rangers 0 of 2; Tampa Bay 0 of 2. Goalies—N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 3-4-2 (28 shots-27 saves). Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 10-1-0 (35-33). A—19,092 (19,092). T—2:45. Referees—Tom Chmielewski, Brian Pochmara. Linesmen—Tim Nowak, Pierre Racicot.

     
                                           
Comments
Lightning falls to Wild in overtime

Lightning falls to Wild in overtime

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Lightning coach Jon Cooper wasn't kidding when he said Xcel Energy is a tough place to play.The Lightning extended its winless streak in Minnesota to six games under Cooper on Saturday with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Wild as M...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning journal: J.T. Brown reflects on Tampa Bay time

Lightning journal: J.T. Brown reflects on Tampa Bay time

ST. PAUL, Minn. — J.T. Brown's past year has been nothing short of busy and filled with changes.The Lightning put the forward on waivers in January in the middle of his sixth season with the franchise after he signed as an undrafted free agent ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Nick Kelly’s takeways from Saturday’s Lightning-Wild game

Nick Kelly’s takeways from Saturday’s Lightning-Wild game

Having won only twice all time in Minnesota, the Lightning needed to start fast to quiet the crowd in what coach Jon Cooper called one of the three toughest NHL buildings in which to play. Ryan Callahan accomplished that with his goal in the first th...
Updated: 7 hours ago
J.T. Brown talks about life after the Lightning

J.T. Brown talks about life after the Lightning

ST. PAUL, Minn. — J.T. Brown's past year has been nothing short of busy and filled with changes.The Lightning placed him on waivers in January  in the middle of his sixth season with the franchise after he signed as an undrafted ...
Published: 10/20/18
Diana C. Nearhos: Being the Lightning beat writer is a dream job

Diana C. Nearhos: Being the Lightning beat writer is a dream job

TAMPA — I distinctly remember the moment I fell in love with hockey.I was 10 years old at my first game between Boston College and Boston University. It's an intense rivalry BC's Conte Forum was crazy when the game was close in the third period...
Published: 10/19/18
Updated: 10/20/18
A road trip worth taking for the Lightning

A road trip worth taking for the Lightning

TAMPA — The Lightning opened the season with a five-game homestand. That was the easy part.Now for the hard part. Tampa Bay hits the road for the first time this regular season. And what a long road it is.Nine days. Five games. More that 5,000 ...
Published: 10/19/18
Diana C. Nearhos’ takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Red Wings game

Diana C. Nearhos’ takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Red Wings game

Steven Stamkos scored his first goal of the season in the second period. Entering the game, he wasn't alone among the league's top players to be goal-less. Last season's league MVP, the Devils' Taylor Hall, didn't get his first until Thursday night. ...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Lightning journal: Rolling four lines is key to early-season wins

Lightning journal: Rolling four lines is key to early-season wins

  TAMPA — The fourth line can often be a nice way of saying "players who aren't used much." But not on the Lightning. When coach Jon Cooper says he rolls four lines, he means it. Tampa Bay has the depth for it, and Cooper believes that was th...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Lightning cap off five-game homestand with 3-1 win over Detroit

Lightning cap off five-game homestand with 3-1 win over Detroit

TAMPA — The Lightning was a broken record in training camp, repeating how it needed to start the season strong. Last season's 15-2-2 start was the best in franchise history and launched it toward a playoff run. The Lightning wanted to do that a...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Ryan Callahan ahead of schedule on return to Lightning

Ryan Callahan ahead of schedule on return to Lightning

TAMPA — Ryan Callahan is ahead of schedule. The forward had a target date of Nov. 1, on the early side, to return from offseason shoulder surgery, but the Lightning is making moves that imply he may see the ice sooner.That date could be tonight...
Published: 10/17/18