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Rangers vs Lightning: Rangers Fight Back But Fall to Lightning in Overtime

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NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers faced off against the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning this even, and despite clawing back from a two-goal deficit, they were defeated in overtime. Victor Hedman scored the game-winning goal with 1:35 remaining in overtime, and gave the Lightning their 10th straight victory.

1-0 Lightning
Tyler Johnson (22) - Nikita Kucherov (72) & Anton Stralman (15) - 7:52 1st Period

The Rangers looked completely lost during the first period, and that allowed the Lightning to skate circles around them in the offensive zone. Alexandar Georgiev was able to fight off a majority of the chances but Tyler Johnson finally broke the scoreless tie at the 7:52 mark. Neal Pionk was still shaking off some pain after blocking a shot as the puck slipped out to Tyler Johnson, and he fired the puck past Georgiev.

2-0 Lightning - PPG
J.T. Miller (12) - Nikita Kucherov (73) & Victor Hedman (31) - 14:57 1st Period

Tampa Bay continued to put the pressure on the Rangers and were able to double up their lead with about five minutes remaining. Marc Staal blocked a cannon of a shot by Nikita Kucherov, but the puck wound up deflecting back towards the net. Georgiev was playing the initial shot as if it wasn’t block, and J.T. Miller tapped home the loose puck as it slide by the crease.

2-1 Lightning
Mika Zibanejad (27) - Jimmy Vesey (18) & Tony DeAngelo (19) - 0:56 2nd Period

Whatever David Quinn said to the Rangers in between periods, it clearly lit a fire under the Rangers as they came out of the intermission. They looked like a completely different team compared to the first period, and the Rangers were rewarded with an early goal. Mika Zibanejad picked up his team-leading 27th goal of the season off of a beautiful pass from Jimmy Vesey.

3-1 Lightning
Dan Girardi (4) - Steven Stamkos (43) & Brayden Point (44) - 2:53 2nd Period

With both teams skating 4-on-4, Dan Girardi slipped in behind the Rangers defense, and tapped home his fourth goal of the season. Steven Stamkos created the entire goal by sliding down from the blue line, and chipped the puck over to Girardi on the far side of the net.

3-2 Lightning
Jimmy Vesey (16) - Fredrik Claesson (4) & Kevin Shattenkirk (19) - 3:23 2nd Period

Exactly 30 seconds after Girardi’s tally, the Rangers brought themselves back within a goal yet again. Jimmy Vesey absolutely embarrassed Victor Hedman in a foot race for a loose puck, and out-muscled him as he came in on Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vesey was able to quickly make a move to his forehand and wrist the puck past Vasilevskiy to make it a 3-2 game.

3-3 Tie
Boo Nieves (4) - Ryan Strome (11) & Vladislav Namestnikov (15) - 14:14 2nd Period

With a little under six minutes remaining in the second period, the Rangers completely erased the two-goal deficit courtesy of Boo Nieves. Ryan Strome made a great pass out from the right corner, and Nieves one-timed the puck through four players in front of Vasilevskiy. The Lightning goaltender was unable to locate the loose puck after it hit the left post, and he wound up kicking it into his own net.

4-3 Lightning - OT
Victory Hedman (8) - Nikita Kucherov (74) & Steven Stamkos (44) - 3:25 OT

Following a back and forth overtime period, the Lightning were finally able to secure the win at the 3:25 mark. Nikita Kucherov set a bit of a pick play as he dished off the puck, and it freed up Victor Hedman in the high slot. Hedman was able to take his time and picked the right corner of the net on Georgiev for the game-winning goal.

Following tonight’s rough loss to Tampa Bay in overtime, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before returning to action on Friday night against the Montreal Canadiens.