The New York Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning by the score of 4-1 on Thursday night. The game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto all came back from injury and played well. Nash though had the biggest impact with a goal, an assist and just setting the tone from the get go. Henrik Lundqvist didn’t have to do too much until the third period and then he was up for the challenge.
Nash led the team with 12 shots on goal and inspired his team who came out flying. The Rangers had a 2-1 lead after one period but a 20-3 shots advantage. Carl Hagelin got the first goal at the 7:23 mark of the first period. Derek Stepan made it 2-0 at the 8:40 mark, he was assisted by Ryan Callahan. Hagelin has nine points in his last nine games played. The Lightning made it a 2-1 game at the 16:09 mark of the first period. Martin St. Louis scored the goal on a pass that he redirected from Eric Brewer. The Rangers made it a 3-1 game in the second period with 3:52 to play. They had a 35-11 shots advantage after two periods and the two goal lead. Nash scored the final goal with just over a minute left in the game on a beautiful pass and a nice move by him. Lundqvist was tested in the third and was up to the challenge. He faced 11 shots through two periods but 13 in the third period alone. McDonagh had two assists and Del Zotto also coming back from injury played well. Nash had the biggest impact though and hopefully for the Rangers this was their turning point.
The Rangers will remain home and play the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night. The Rangers currently have 20 points and are sitting in tenth place in the conference. They are one point ahead of Buffalo so this will be a big game. The Rangers though have several games in hand on the teams right in front of them especially Philadelphia who is in eighth three points ahead of the Rangers. The Rangers have four games in hand on them.