Things began alright, with goaltender Mathieu Garon making numerous big saves to keep the game scoreless. Then came turnovers, one right after another, and Carl Hagelin made us pay. Honestly, that guy’s been a Lightning killer, as he has four goals in three games against us this season. Derek Stepan scored just over a minute later, making it 2-0, and Tampa Bay still looked somewhat uninterested. Finally, near the end of one period, Martin St. Louis was able to stuff an Eric Brewer rebound past Henrik Lundqvist to cut the lead in half. Steven Stamkos had a secondary assist there, keeping him tied with Sidney Crosby for the NHL‘s point leadership.
It was more of the same in the second, and Garon again came up huge, allowing only one late power play goal by Marc Staal. That saying about the goalie being a team’s best friend proved true here because, according to some teammates in their post game press conference, it could easily have been 6-0 without him. I can believe that since the Rangers outshot us 35-11 over the first two periods.
We finally started playing in the third, with a number of quality scoring chances, but just couldn’t solve Lundqvist. Rick Nash then broke in and finally, after 11 previous opportunities, scored to seal things. That didn’t help anything for a team that’s suddenly fragile, and Garon didn’t hesitate to show his frustration, smacking his stick against the crossbar.
A frustrated, angry and fragile Lightning team now heads to Boston for a 1 p.m. game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, hoping to turn things around. Actually, I think Stamkos put it best during his post game press conference by saying “Enough Talking, We Need Action.” Now, let’s hope that action begins this weekend and translates into wins.