Penalties cost the Rangers Points in 2-1 loss to Lightning

New York, NY - It would be untimely penalties by the New York Rangers (33-27-4) that would cost them a vital two points, in their 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning (37-18-7) in hockey action on Sunday afternoon. Tampa Bay would spoil the Blueshirt debut for blue liner Brian McCabe.

On Kids Day at Madison Square Garden the 18,200 in attendance rocked The Garden early and often. The Rangers were able to get an early power play opportunity. As Eric Brewer was sent to the sin bin at the 1:03 mark for cross checking Ryan Callahan.

New York was not able to tally any goals on the extra man advantage and lost momentum of the game all together at the 5:04 mark as Martin St. Louis (24) would strike on a 15 foot slap shot at the 5:04 mark to give the Lightning the 1-0 lead.

McCabe would tally his first shot in a Rangers uniform at the 14:20 mark of that frame, but sadly the attempted shot was blocked by Brett Clark. Later on in the frame Sean Avery would have a golden opportunity at the 16:04 mark, but that chance just went wide of the cage.

The Rangers would have their third power play opportunity at the 19:34 mark as Steve Downie was sent to the bin for roughing Erik Christensen. New York could not get any more shots off, as the horn would sound to end the first period of play.

Blueshirts keeper Henrik Lundqvist would have a scary moment at the 2:49 mark of the second period as his mask fell off after a shot by Pavel Kubina. Thankfully the linesmen were able to stop the play allowing the Swedish keeper to put his equipment back on.

Then the penalties started to pile on for the Blueshirts, as Mats Zuccarello served a tripping sentence at the 4:42 mark. The defense was just able to kill that one extra-man advantage off when Erik Christensen had to serve an interference call at the 8:39 mark.

Brandon Prust (10) made sure that these penalties didn’t hurt his squad too much, scoring a shorthanded goal at the 9:42 mark, which tied the game up at 1-1. Prust would go charging into the Tampa Bay cage full force with the puck and net an eight foot backhanded shot for the first Rangers goal.

New York would try to keep the offensive pressure on the Lightning as McCabe continued to look for his first tally as a Ranger. The blue liner would rip a 43 foot slap shot at the 14:41 mark, but that chance was stoned by Bolts keeper Dwayne Roloson. No other offense could be found for the Rangers as the horn would sound to end the second period.

It was in the third period that the Rangers took two penalties that cost them two vital points in this playoff chase. The first penalty was at the 1:11 mark as Dan Girardi would serve a two minute boarding call, then a delay of game call at the 2:04 mark on Brian Boyle.

Tampa Bay would cash in on their 5-on-3 offensive opportunity at the 2:40 mark as Vincent Lecavalier (15) would rip a 32 foot slap shot for the 2-1 Lightning victory. This will be the fourth and final time that these two teams will meet in the regular season. Sadly for the fans of the Rangers if the playoffs started today these two teams would meet again as the Blueshirts sit in seventh place.

Rangers’ keeper Henrik Lundqvist would finish the night making 17 saves in the cage, while Lightning keeper Dwayne Roloson was solid again making 22 stops in the game.

New York will get another opportunity to do just that as they host the Buffalo Sabres for a Tuesday night 7:00 p.m. face off.