Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning loses 5-2 to New York Rangers

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who had 27 saves, blocks a shot from Lightning wing Marty St. Louis in the first period.

Getty Images

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who had 27 saves, blocks a shot from Lightning wing Marty St. Louis in the first period.

NEW YORK — Goalie Mike Smith sat in the Lightning locker room, his bowed head deep in his hands.

Tampa Bay lost 5-2 to the Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, and Smith took the blame, especially for the third goal in New York's four-goal second period that wiped out the Lightning's 2-0 first-period lead.

"The third one broke our backs," Smith said of Erik Christensen's in-close wrist shot that got through his legs.

"It's a goal that has to be stopped, a shot that has to be stopped, a point in the game you have to come up with big saves."

Smith allowed four goals on 10 shots in the period.

But there was plenty of blame to go around as Tampa Bay (26-24-11) lost its third straight, two on the road, to go into the Olympic break tied for ninth in the East, one point out of a playoff spot and severely deflated.

"There's none now," center Steven Stamkos said of the momentum of a 7-1-1 streak that on Tuesday had the Lightning in sixth place. "We're kind of looking forward to the break. Before, we didn't want it to end, the way we were playing."

How is Tampa Bay playing now?

That it allowed five goals in three straight games should give you a clue.

Smith looked bad on Sean Avery's penalty shot that made it 2-1 1:40 into the second period, and Vinny Prospal was unchallenged as he popped in a rebound at 6:07 to make it 2-2.

Defenseman Andrej Meszaros tripped over Prospal at the Rangers blue line to spark a two-on-one that ended with Christensen's goal that made it 4-2, and Marty St. Louis' ill-advised cross-ice pass was picked off by Chris Drury, who scored an empty-netter.

"Mental breakdowns, mental mistakes; we're beating ourselves," Stamkos said. "It's not like other teams are outplaying us or outshooting us. They're capitalizing on the chances we're giving them."

"It's frustrating," coach Rick Tocchet said. "When you're evaluating your team, pressure situations like that, you're looking for people to (step up)."

Such as Stamkos, who scored his team-best 35th goal and league-best 15th on the power play, and Steve Downie, who scored his 15th on a deflection.

But Vinny Lecavalier, without a point in five games and minus-7 in three, has disappeared, and Ryan Malone (zero goals in 11 games) and Alex Tanguay (one in 12) are not much better.

Even St. Louis was minus-3.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was stellar with 27 saves, and as Smith said, "At this time of year, your goalie has to be your best player. Lundqvist was their best player. It didn't happen at our end of the rink."

Not that he had much help.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Rangers 0 4 1 5
Lightning 2 0 0 2

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 35 (Malone, Downie), 15:33 (pp). 2, Tampa Bay, Downie 15 (Stamkos, Tanguay), 17:03. PenaltiesKonopka, TB, major (fighting), 5:18; Voros, NYR, major (fighting), 5:18; Tanguay, TB (holding stick), 7:23; Foster, TB (delay of game), 13:07; Christensen, NYR (tripping), 13:56; Walker, TB, major (fighting), 15:43; Prust, NYR, major (fighting), 15:43.

Second Period3, N.Y. Rangers, Avery 7 (penalty shot), 1:40. 4, N.Y. Rangers, Prospal 14 (Staal, Christensen), 6:07. 5, N.Y. Rangers, Christensen 4 (Prospal, Rozsival), 12:06. 6, N.Y. Rangers, Christensen 5, 13:52. PenaltiesFoster, TB (cross-checking), 4:43; Rozsival, NYR (boarding), 5:34; Lundin, TB (tripping), 15:56; Downie, TB (roughing), 20:00; Avery, NYR (roughing), 20:00.

Third Period7, N.Y. Rangers, Drury 10, 19:45 (en). PenaltiesDubinsky, NYR (hooking), 2:01; St. Louis, TB (roughing), 17:07; Girardi, NYR (interference), 17:07. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 7-13-9—29. N.Y. Rangers 7-10-6—23. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 3; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 4. GoaliesTampa Bay, Smith 10-14-6 (22 shots-18 saves). N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 25-22-6 (29-27). A18,200 (18,200). T2:32. Referees—Francois St. Laurent, Kerry Fraser. LinesmenDerek Nansen, Brad Lazarowich.

Rangers 5

Lightning 2

Tampa Bay Lightning loses 5-2 to New York Rangers 02/14/10 [Last modified: Sunday, February 14, 2010 10:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …