The New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, thanks in large part to Mika Zibanejad.
The Rangers defeated the Lightning 3-1 because to two goals by Zibanejad, including a game-tying goal on the penalty play in the third period.
Igor Shesterkin, the current Vezina Trophy winner, stopped 26 shots to help the Rangers start the season with a victory over the Lightning, who knocked them from the Eastern Conference final in June. Barclay Goodrow also scored.
According to Zibanejad, “The way we played tonight is a lot how we want to play—to trust ourselves and the system.” “We need to keep doing what we did tonight; it was good work,”
At 5:11 of the third period, Zibanejad gave New York a 2-1 lead with a slap shot from the left circle off a pass from Artemi Panarin, who recorded his 250th point with the Rangers. Zibanejad had earlier scored a shorthanded goal early in the second period.
Not only is it satisfying to see the puck go in, but also to see how we won, added Zibanejad.
With nine minutes left, Goodrow made it 3-1 by deflecting Ryan Lindgren’s long shot from the left point past Vasilevskiy, according to The Associated Press.
For the Lightning, Steven Stamkos scored on a power play, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, “We competed, we just didn’t execute at all, and when you’re not going to do that, it doesn’t matter how hard you try. We gave out a frustrated vibe in the third. We are a stronger group than we shown tonight.
In a scoreless first period and an 18-8 shot advantage in the second, the Rangers outshot the Lightning.
According to Goodrow, “I believed we were engaged, on it, and competing right from the start.” “Everyone performed a good job, in my opinion. We were playing well right as the puck was put in play. Tonight, the entire team contributed. It was a fantastic opening game.
Early in the second period, the Lightning, who lead the NHL with 291 power-play goals over the previous five seasons, received the game’s first man advantage. However, at 3:25, Zibanejad raced in from the right side, avoided Vasilevskiy’s poke check, and lifted a backhander into the upper left corner to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. This came just seconds after Vasilevskiy blocked two short-handed slap shots by Chris Kreider.
With roughly 12 minutes left in the middle period, K’Andre Miller (tripping) and Goodrow (elbowing) were called for penalties, giving Tampa Bay a 5-on-3 advantage for 2 minutes. Stamkos took advantage of the situation, scoring a one-timer from the point for the Lightning at 9:09 on a pass from Nikita Kucherov.
Cooper claimed that “special teams made a difference.” “You’re making it difficult on yourself when you give them a short-handed goal and a power-play goal, and it ended up being the difference,” the author said.
With six minutes left in the period, defenceman Mikhail Sergachev skated across and stopped Kreider’s opportunity with his stick when the Rangers were on the power play and Vasilevskiy was out of position. Then Vasilevskiy slid in and stopped Kreider’s follow effort.
With little over 11 minutes left in the first, Vasilevskiy blocked a shot by Goodrow. Twenty seconds later, Shesterkin stopped Nick Paul’s right-side drive effort at the other end and then stopped Brandon Hagel’s follow-up attempt.
With around 6:45 remaining, Vasilevskiy stopped two close-range shots from Jacob Trouba, and with 2:40 left, he made a right pad save to stop Kreider’s deflection from the left doorstep during a Rangers power play.