Rangers get two from Goodrow, beat Lightning in a shootout to close out 2021

The New York Rangers closed out 2021 by facing the defending Stanley Cup Champions. It was the first game of a home-and-home series against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Blueshirts finally got a much needed win.

It wasn’t easy, and it took a former member of the Lightning to help lead the Blueshirts to victory.

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Recap: Rangers 4 vs Lightning 3 (SO)

The first period was a sleeper for the most part with the Rangers looking like they were skating in pea soup. Tampa’s Brian Elliott started in net with Andrei Vasilevskiy on COVID protocol and was hardly tested. He only needing to stop three weak shots.

On the flip side, the Lightning coming off a 9-3 loss to the Panthers played it cautious. It wasn’t until they got a late power play that they came to life. With Ryan Reaves in the box for roughing, a big faceoff win by Brayden Point started the play. Victor Hedman quickly found Steven Stamkos in the slot, who roofed it over Igor Shesterkin for a 1-0 lead. Tampa finished with 10 shots in the opening 20 minutes.

Rangers vs Lightning
TAMPA, FL – DECEMBER 31: Goalie Brian Elliott #1 of the Tampa Bay Lightning gives up a goal against Barclay Goodrow #21 of the New York Rangers during the second period at Amalie Arena on December 31, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

We need to find a way to come back here,” Barclay Goodrow said after the first period. “We’d like to get more shots on net. Hopefully we find a way to get the offense going.”

The Rangers had to kill a penalty just 12 seconds into the middle stanza. Mika Zibanejad carelessly swung his stick and caught Point in the face. New York would kill it and eventually get a goal 5:30 in.

Alexis Lafreniére tied the game for the Blueshirts with an absolute gift from Elliott. Playing the puck behind the net, he was pressured by Julien Gauthier forcing him to cough the puck up for an easy goal. It was Alexis’ first goal and point since December 10 in Buffalo.

The puck was right on my tape and I didn’t have anything else to do but shoot it,” Lafreniére said during the second intermission.

The Rangers fed off that goal and started generating more shots. However, it was on the PK where they would take the lead with 5:30 remaining.

Once again, it was an unforced error by Elliot that led to a goal as he played the puck way out of his net. McKegg picked off the pass and hit Goodrow breaking in. A nifty little deke opened up Elliot’s legs and Goodrow scored a shorthanded tally against his former team.

Tampa tied the game with 2:29 left in the period. Adam Fox and Patrik Nemeth passively played a Lightning zone entry and paid for it. Ross Colton blasted a Point feed uncontested over Shesterkin’s shoulder and the team’s went into the third knotted at two apiece.

Rangers win it in a shootout

The Rangers played the third strong as they desperately needed a win after losing five of their last seven games.

Who else would give them the lead but Goodrow by deflecting a K’Andre Miller shot for his 7th goal of the season at 6:25.

New York kept battling as they played the defending champs tough. Chris Kreider showed that will-to-win by blocking a big Victor Hedman shot that left him down on the ice until the puck was cleared.

Then a big hullabaloo occurred with a little over two minutes. Gerard Gallant was denied a change that left him furious. Tampa would tie the game off that draw thanks to Corey Perry with 1:57 on the clock.

The Rangers were undaunted and went back to work drawing a late PP. Unfortunately, they were unable to end the game on the man advantage going 0-4 for the game.

In OT, both teams were apprehensive with only the Blueshirts getting two shots. That meant a shootout would need to decide the winner.

In the end, Shesterkin stopped Hedman, Stamkos, and Point then watched Mika Zibanejad beat Elliott on the final shot of the night.

“The win felt great. The standing ovation was great,” Goodrow said about the tribute video. “It’s something beyond my wildest dreams growing up as a kid. Scoring a couple of goals and getting the win topped it off.”

“Real happy for him,” Gallant said about Goodrow. “Perfect ending to his story tonight after getting his Stanley Cup ring. Good for him.”

Notable Rangers

  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 25 of 28 shots winning his first ever game against Tampa
  • Artemi Panarin picked up an assist for his 36th point of the season
  • Mika Zibanejad’s three game point streak was snapped
  • K’Andre Miller’s assist gives him points in two of his last three games
  • Alexis Lafreniére’s goal in the second was his first career unassisted tally

Tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 1): TBA

Next Game: Sunday, Jan. 2 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (12:30 PM ET – TV: MSG)

*Schedule subject to change

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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