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Rangers vs. Lightning: Don’t Forget The Lights On The Way Out

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Rangers drop final home game of the season vs. Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
  • The New York Rangers fell 7-3 on Friday evening vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning in the final home game of a season that is ending soon to the joy of many. Hockey is a great sport to watch, but enough is enough with this team as constructed. It is the first time playoff hockey won’t be played at Madison Square Garden since 2010, and the extra time in the offseason will be used for the team to continue evaluating the next steps in the declared rebuild.
  • There is something to be said about Henrik Lundqvist winning the Steven A. McDonald Extra effort award for the second time, his first being in his rookie season back in 2005-06, and seeing the Rangers allow 50 shots in front of Ondrej Pavelec.
  • If anything it reinforces why he deserved the award, and paints a picture of how bad things would be if he weren’t around. The award is voted on by the fans, and it was nice to see them recognize Lundqvist.
  • In typical Rangers fashion they scored the first goal, and things went downhill from there. Brady Skjei picked up his fourth of the season with Pavel Buchnevich picking up the primary assist and David Desharnais picking up a secondary assist.
  • Desharnais left the game in the third period after getting hit with a puck, and it is unknown what his status is.
  • The score was 1-0 after 20 minutes of plays, a period that ended with some fireworks. More on that later. After two periods the score was 2-1, and 2:38 into the third period the score was 5-1.
  • J.T. Miller picked up his 22nd goal of the season, on the power play in front of the net, which is an area he could have been used more while he was still wearing Ranger blue. Cedric Paquette picked up his second of the game and fifth overall and Brayden Point picked up goal No. 29. Those three goals seemingly put the game out of reach, but once again in typical Ranger fashion, the team mounted a comeback which ultimately fell short.
  • This comeback was started by none other than Filip Chytil, and The Garden crowd erupted when it realized that #ChytilMania picked up the first of hopefully many goals to come.
  • Chris Kreider struck next with a seeing eye shot that Louis Domingue would probably like back.
  • That ended up being the Blueshirts’ final home goal of the season, as the final two goals of the game were added by Tampa. One was an empty netter from Point, his second of game and 30th of the 2017-18 campaign, and the other was a power-play goal by Dan Girardi which probably was one of the easier goals he’s scored as an NHL player.
  • Girardi was in his first game back at Madison Square Garden as a non-Ranger and along with Miller and Ryan McDonagh was the recipient of a thank you montage. The Rangers have had to put together a lot of this in recent years, and they never fail to impress.
  • So as I alluded to in the beginning there were fireworks at the end of the first, and they all stemmed from Buchnevich’s attempt to hip check Nikita Kucherov. I say attempt, because it was a partial strike, a full check would have really sent him flying. From the stands I originally thought Mika Zibanejad got caught up with Kucherov, but the magic that is Twitter let me see what actually happened.
  • Buchnevich’s skates look awkward and I think that’s the case because he didn’t want to knee Kucherov. It reminded me of Jaromir Jagr to be honest, because he had a knack of using his rump to give opposing players a little bump. He’s not on Jagr’s level, but but this baby (Ranger) got back, at least a little bit.
  • All things considered I don’t think it was a huge deal, and I doubt Pavel was looking to take out his comrade.
  • Steven Stamkos didn’t see things that way, and it could be because he missed 65 games during the 2016-17 NHL season with a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. He knows the pain, and wouldn’t want his teammate to experience that, especially with the playoffs right around the corner. Regardless of the reason, he bee-lined over to Buchnevich to fight, and it wasn’t the greatest of ideas.
  • The fracas led to Stamkos getting 17:00 in penalties— 10:00 misconduct, 5:00 for fighting and 2:00 for instigating—and Buchnevich getting a pat on the back from a clearly amused Henrik Lundqvist.
  • This wasn’t the only part of the game that saw tensions flare, as Kreider was in the thick of things with Yanni Gourde.
  • CK20 is a very passionate guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, but he seemed more perturbed than usual in this instance. The game was only 2-1 at the time, but it might have been him just using the opportunity to release some pent up frustration that’s been building for quite some time.
  • After the game the Rangers participated in the annual Blueshirts off their backs ceremony, and it is a moment that never gets old. It is great to see kids receive jerseys from players, and overall it is just a feel good moment.
  • Then there was Lias Andersson throwing stuff into the crowd... again. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
  • The Rangers are in action again today, and they will face the Carolina Hurricanes in Carolina at 7:00 p.m.

All GIFS from the wonderful Shayna Goldman, aka @hayyyshayyy