NEW YORK — The word "embarrassing" was used a lot in the Lightning locker room Thursday night.
It wasn't so much Tampa Bay lost 4-1 to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, but that it was dominated.
"They were outbattling us, outshifting us, outworking us," defenseman Victor Hedman said.
"Just not ready to play," coach Guy Boucher said.
Well, except for goaltender Mathieu Garon, who was outstanding with 38 saves as the Lightning was outshot 42-25, including 20-3 in a first period that thanks to Garon ended only 2-1.
It was the third straight loss and fourth in five games for Tampa Bay (9-10-1), which is below .500 for the first time and is 3-9-1 after a 6-1-0 start.
"It's embarrassing," Hedman said. "They deserved to win. We didn't deserve anything."
• The 20 shots on goal in the first period were the most Tampa Bay allowed this season in a period. Three shots taken were the fewest.
• The Rangers took a total of 35 shots in the first period (13 were blocked, two missed the net). Tampa Bay took seven.
• The Lightning had no answer for New York's Rick Nash, who had a career-best 12 shots, a goal and two points.
• Carl Hagelin's first-period goal came after defenseman Keith Aulie fell down in the defensive zone. Derek Stepan, left alone in front of the net, scored to make it 2-0 at 8:40.
• Marty St. Louis' goal with 3:51 left in the first period made it 2-1. But, as he said, "I looked up at one point (in the second period) and it was 30-something to eight in shots."
• Tampa Bay outshot New York 14-7 in the third period, and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made two terrific saves on Steven Stamkos. But as Boucher said, "For two periods there was no opposition for the other team. … Couldn't make a pass, guys falling everywhere, lost the battles."
"It's getting to a point where it's embarrassing," Stamkos said. "We talk about work ethic, but it's not there right now. Guys aren't making plays. … There's enough talking going on. We need action."
There was none in the first period, when what St. Louis called "the compounding effect" took place. Tampa Bay was so poor at controlling the puck in the defensive zone, it dumped the puck out just to relieve the pressure. At that point, tired defensemen went to the bench for a change, leaving tired forwards alone to forecheck.
It's a vicious cycle, St. Louis said: "When you're running around for a while, you count your losses, so you throw (the puck) out because it's the play. But you need a whistle or something. It's tough."
First—1, NYR, Hagelin 7 (McDonagh), 7:23. 2, NYR, Stepan 4 (Callahan, Girardi), 8:40. 3, TB, St. Louis 5 (Brewer, Stamkos), 16:09. Penalties—Carle, TB (slashing), 5:07; Crombeen, TB, major (fighting), 8:46; Bickel, NYR, major (fighting), 8:46; Eminger, NYR (roughing), 11:09.
Second—4, NYR, Staal 2 (Miller, Nash), 16:08 (pp). Penalties—Brewer, TB (interference), 2:27; Stamkos, TB (freezing the puck), 3:53; Killorn, TB (interference), 14:17; Stralman, NYR (tripping), 16:46.
Third—5, NYR, Nash 4 (Richards, McDonagh), 18:27. Penalties—Girardi, NYR (holding), 4:58. Shots on Goal—TB 3-8-14—25. NYR 20-15-7—42. Power-play opportunities—TB 0 of 3; NYR 1 of 4. Goalies—TB, Garon 2-6-0 (42 shots-38 saves). NYR, Lundqvist 8-7-1 (25-24).