Rangers earn point against league leading Lightning

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Much like Sunday, when the Rangers earned a point against a team that is far better than them, the Blueshirts scored three goals in the second period to force the game into overtime. And although David Quinn’s squad would eventually lose in the extra period, the team put forth another strong effort against a superior opponent.

Mika Zibanejad – It’s been a breakout season for the Swedish center, who scored his 27th goal of the season in this one, tying his personal best. Zibanejad received a great pass from his new linemate Jimmy Vesey and beat Andrei Vasilevsky to get the Rangers on the board in the second period.

Zibanejad is going to be one of the pieces that Jeff Gorton builds around as the Rangers continue rebuilding their roster. It seems as though the Rangers have found their first line center for the future.

Jimmy Vesey – Since being moved up to the top line, Jimmy Vesey has excelled with his extended ice time. Vesey wasn’t content with just getting the assist as he would also pot a gorgeous goal of his own to bring the Rangers to a 3-2 deficit. Vesey outmuscled the reigning Norris Trophy winner Victor Hedman and put the puck into the net behind Vasilevsky.

Boo NievesNieves signed a contract extension with the Rangers on Monday and he rewarded the organization by scoring the third goal for the Blueshirts. Nieves took the feed from Ryan Strome and had his shot squeak through Vasilevsky to tie the game at three. Nieves is the perfect fourth-line center for the Rangers, and he will be counted on by David Quinn to play that role the rest of the season.

Brendan Lemieux – Playing his first game since being acquired from the Winnipeg Jets on Monday, Brendan Lemieux was noticeable every time he stepped on the MSG ice. Lemieux recorded seven hits, a takeaway, two blocked shots, a shot on goal, and was involved in some rough stuff after the whistle. It was definitely a strong first impression for the soon-to-be 23-year-old, who reminded Rangers fans of Sean Avery with his performance against Tampa Bay.

Alexandar Georgiev – He may have given up three goals in the first 30 minutes of the game, but Georgiev did enough to keep his team in the game and earn the OT point. The Rangers’ backup made 26 saves, including this one in the third period to preserve the tie. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for the Belarusian backstop as the Rangers have a handful of goalie prospects, including Igor Shestyorkin, who will all be competing to play behind Henrik Lundqvist next season.

Next Game: The Rangers will try and get back in the win column on Friday night when they face the Montreal Canadiens at The Garden. Puck drops at 7!


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