The New York Rangers put together quite the comeback against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Madison Square Garden. Brad Richards ended the game off of a beautiful feed from Artem Anisimov at the 2:37 mark, to the win the game for the Rangers. Marty Biron also improved his record to 10-2 this season with the victory.
The Rangers went on an early penalty kill as Brandon Dubinsky took a slashing penalty just about four minutes into the first period. The Rangers would have a strong kill, and kill off the penalty to get back to even strength. However, a bad defensive lapse later on in the period would cost them the lead.
Steven Stamkos flew around Anton Stralman, and broke in on a semi breakaway on Martin Biron. Stamkos slipped it between the legs of Biron, and Tampa came away with a 1-0 lead in the first period of play.
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After a decent first period, the Rangers came out with some speed in the second period, and would be rewarded with two goals. The first goal was a power play goal coming from Ryan Callahan, off of a redirection in front of Garon. I must admit, whatever the Rangers did in practice on Wednesday clearly worked for them tonight. The power play was alive, they were gaining the zone, and had excellent puck movement.
Just 54 seconds later, Derek Stepan cashed in on a big rebound to put the Rangers ahead 2-1 in the second period. Dan Girardi made a great effort to get off a quick shot, and it bounced right out to Stepan, who deposited the rebound.
Although, it didn't take long as the Lightning would eventually tie the game, just 21 seconds later coming from Vincent Lecavalier. Marty Biron made three great saves at the top of his crease but Lecavalier banked the puck off of Ryan Callahan, who was sitting behind Biron in the crease.
Just about seven minutes later, the Lightning would take a 3-2 lead with a power play goal of their own, coming from ex-Islander Bruno Gervais. Martin St.Louis had great vision on the play and found the wide open Gervais at the hash marks for the go-ahead goal.
Once again, the Rangers came out in the third period absolutely flying, and eyeing the tying goal. They would finally get it as Brian Boyle stepped into a slap shot from the top of the face-off circle that beat Garon low. Carl Hagelin made a great effort along the boards, which eventually led to the puck bouncing out to Boyle who ripped it home. From there on out, the Rangers were energized, as well as the crowd at MSG.
It's also worth mentioning that Domonic Moore took a clear, cut cheap shot at Ruslan Fedotenko just three minutes in the third period. This is the exact hit that Brendan Shanahan has been trying to take out of the game and the hit was definitely from the blindside of Fedotenko. In my opinion, Moore should be getting a call from Mr. Shanahan on that one, because that's just dirty and reckless.
The game would eventually need to be decided in overtime, where Brad Richards would finally get that much needed goal. The winning goal would not have even been a thought if Michael Del Zotto did not stick with the puck. He made a great effort, found the puck, and slid it over to Artem Anisimov. Anisimov would made a slick pass between two Lightning defenders, to find Brad Richards right on the doorstep.
Richards made a diving effort for the puck and slid it under Garon for the game winner. The win now puts the Rangers 5 points ahead of the second place Boston Bruins, who had one more game played then the Rangers heading into tonight's game.