Rangers Vs. Lightning: Nine Seconds Of Horror

Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Lightning.

- Nine seconds stood between the New York Rangers taking full control of the game and losing the game. Sort of, I guess. In reality we don't know what would have happened if the Tampa Bay Lightning didn't follow up their tying goal with another goal just nine ticks of the clock later, but it happened.

- What's worse is it happened on a set play Alain Vigneault warned his team about leading up to the game and also right before the puck was dropped. While he had a good game overall, Michael Del Zotto had a complete brain cramp on that play and totally lost his man. There were a couple of forwards at fault there, too. Yuck.

- Anyway, despite the loss that's not a bad game by the Rangers at all. Three posts, two pucks hopping over a stick with the net wide open and a plethora of superb Ben Bishop saves. Like, really superb. He was spectacular Tuesday. You know a goalie is on when he's snatching beautiful glove saves out of the air with the effort of swatting a fly. You kind of got the sense the Rangers weren't going to break through towards the end of the second.

- Rangers best forwards? Brad Richards (who scored the goal), Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello. Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi were the top defenseman. It's a good thing that Nash continued his good stretch, he had a few prime opportunities and set some up, too. Same goes for Kreider. Another fantastic game from him.

- I have one gripe with Zuccarello however. Every time he gets passed the puck and he's wide open on the outside of the circles he holds the puck and waits a second before he shoots. All that does is allow the defense and goaltender to set themselves for the shot. If he would just let those go the second they hit his tape he'd probably have four or five more goals this year. They're have been that many.

- Another fantastic game from Henrik Lundqvist, too. If you're blaming him for either of those two goals, well, I have no idea what to tell you. He made more vintage saves than I could count, and kept the game 2-1 when Tampa Bay did get their chances. Even though the Rangers lost that might be a good game for his confidence.

- Dan Carcillo played well again. Hit a crossbar, hit ... well, everything and plays better in his defensive zone than I was expecting. He's actually growing on me as a player. Hasn't taken bad penalties, hasn't done anything even close to dirty and just does what's asked of him. Hopefully he keeps that up, because he's been valuable so far.

- The power play, despite it not scoring, was fantastic (as usual). Created chances, saw McDonagh hit the post and then saw Bishop make some huge saves.

- As frustrating as this loss is, the Rangers can build off of it. It wasn't a stinker, it wasn't a game where there was no battle level, it was a hard, fought loss. Those mean a lot more to the room than you would think.