Here is my recap of the Rangers 1-0 overtime win against the Lightning
Mika Zibanejad – The only goal of the game came with just over a minute left in overtime, and it was a thing of beauty. After the Lightning missed the net on a partial breakaway, the puck came to Ryan McDonagh. The captain made a perfect pass to the streaking center, who went backhand-forehand and fired it past the glove of Andrei Vasilevskiy. It was Zibanejad’s ninth goal of the season, and his second in the last five. If he can start putting the puck in the net more consistently, he makes his line just that much more dangerous.
Tanner Glass – Whether you like AV’s decision to put Tanner Glass in the lineup or not, the bottom line is that it worked. Glass played his style of hockey; he threw his weight around, got in hard on the forecheck and just lifted the overall energy around the team. It didn’t hurt that he dropped the gloves on his second shift back in the lineup in a spirited bout. How long Glass lasts in the lineup will be up to AV, but he showed in this one why he is a valuable asset to a hockey club.
“Glasser got the fight and got the guys going.” – Antti Raanta
Effort and Energy – The way the Blueshirts played Saturday night against the Canadiens, you would’ve thought they didn’t want to be at MSG. After that game, the players emphasized they needed to be better, and that their game was pathetic. Fast forward 48 hours, and the boys did a complete 180. Derek Stepan, who was one of the more vocal players, was flying up and down the ice. Jimmy Vesey was skating well, and even got physical when he had to. You can say that the Glass fight got the boys going, but it seemed to be more than just that. There was a desire and a desperation to win, which is what this team will need if they have any hopes of making a long playoff run.
Antti Raanta – It was a glorious goaltending battle in this one, with both netminders making incredible save after incredible save. Raanta and Vasilevskiy answered the bell for 60 hard fought minutes, but it was the Finnish tender who came out on top. Raanta picked up his third shutout of the season, and gives the Blueshirts a real strong presence when Henrik needs a rest. He plays the puck well, is controlled in his movements, and comes up with the big and timely saves. His play allows Alain Vigneault to have a high level of confidence no matter who he puts in between the pipes; whether it is King Henrik or Prince Antti.