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Grabner’s Hat Trick Leads Rangers Past Tampa Bay 6-1

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New York Rangers offense came alive yet again at Madison Square Garden, as they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning by a final score of 6-1. Antti Raanta had a strong game in net for the Rangers, but the most notable star of the night was Michael Grabner, who notched his third career hat trick.

The Rangers had a relatively decent start to this game, and even though they came away scoreless, they put up 31 shot attempts towards Ben Bishop. Thankfully, they made up for their missed chances in the second period, as they put up four straight goals, three of which cam within a span of 2:19.

Rick Nash started the scoring barrage just 4:45 into the second period, after corralling a flip pass from Nick Holden. Nash had a clean breakaway from the blue line in, and absolutely sniped one over the left shoulder of Bishop. Shortly after that, the Rangers connected on a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play that started with a great seam pass by Kevin Hayes. Brady Skjei was the recipient of the pass in the corner, and quickly found Michael Grabner wide open on the far side of the net.

With Skjei putting the puck right on the tape, Grabner had plenty of space and deposited the puck into the empty net. Then it was Jimmy Vesey putting up his fifth goal of the season by snapping a quick wrister past Bishop from just inside the hash marks. J.T. Miller put the finishing touch on an absolutely dominating period after slamming home a rebound at the top of the crease, and gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead through 40 minutes.

The Rangers started the third right where they left off, with Michael Grabner adding his second goal of the night on a breakaway. Yet again, the Rangers beat Bishop up high over the shoulder, which gave the Rangers a 5-0 lead. Funny enough, Grabner didn’t stop there and added his third goal of the night just a short time later off of a ridiculous feed from Kevin Hayes.

Unfortunately, the Lighting were able to break Antti Raanta’s shutout with Steven Stamkos tapping home a centering feed at the top of the crease. Following the Lightning’s only goal, the Rangers were able to kill off the remaining time on the clock, and secured their sixth win of the season.

The Rangers will be back in action this coming Tuesday, where they will welcome in the St. Louis Blues to Madison Square Garden.