Rangers/lighting game 4 recap
Rangers Lightning Game 4 Recap 6/8
The Rangers allowed the Lightning to storm back into this series with back-to-back wins at Amalie Arena, with a crushing 4-1 loss last night. The Rangers went into the game without their number two center, Ryan Strome, and they didn’t do themselves any favors with their god awful slow start. The boys in blue fell back into their bad habits that hurt them at the start of the season. Thankfully as of now it’s a best of three series & we are heading back to MSG for game 5 on Thursday Night. Let’s dive into the game.
The Rangers came out slow, which hurt them early. Two minutes after the opening faceoff, Zach Bogosian rushed down the right side of the Rangers zone blowing past any and all Rangers players to shovel a shot on goal that was initially blocked but tipped in by Patrick Maroon for a quick 1-0 lead. The fast goal unfortunately electrified the Tampa Bay bench and it was downhill from there for the Rangers.
Just past the halfway mark of the middle frame Ondrej Palat dished over a beautiful outlet pass through the middle of the ice to Nikita Kucherov which turned into a breakaway attempt. Igor Shesterkin decided to play aggressively on the breakaway, which didn’t work in his favor whatsoever. He came a good way out of his crease to challenge Kucherov, but Kucherov slipped it five hole to make it a 2-0 game. Things went from bad to worse quickly when Filip Chytil exited the game late in the second period with a reported upper-body injury.
Now down two of their top centers, things were not looking good for New York. Tampa continued to dominate in pretty much every stat category. Five minutes into the third Ondrej Palat spun off of a check by Mika Zibanejad and threw the puck on goal from inside the right faceoff circle. Shesterkin made a pad save, kicking the rebound right over to Steven Stamkos who was sitting right on the crease with a wide open net giving the Lightning a commanding 3-0 lead. With three minutes left in the third the Rangers were on the brink of being shutout for the second time this postseason, until Artemi Panarin scored a late power play goal. The Lightning would go on to score an empty netter to seal the game.
Game 5 will take place on Thursday night at 8:00pm est back at Madison Square Garden. Even with the series even at 2 a piece, I’d argue that the Rangers backs are up against the wall right now. Fingers crossed Strome & Chytil are good to go by puck drop because without them these boys in blue struggled. Also it looks like Sammy Blais is now skating in the normal practice jersey. Earlier this week he was spotted skating in the Rangers non contact jerseys so that is a huge plus. Sammy Blais was injured back in November with a torn ACL in his right knee that required surgery, his right leg bent awkwardly following a collision with Devils defenseman P.K. Subban as most Rangers fans know. But I’m hoping if the Rangers can pull out a game 5 win he might be ready to go by game 6 or if necessary game 7. At the very least be ready to go for the finals if we make it. I’m still feeling strong about my series prediction. So until next time, Rangers in 6.