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Hank Whiffs in OT as Tampa wins 6-5 to take series lead

Henrik Lundqvist has now given up six goals in two consecutive games

Lightning celebrate the game winning goal in overtime of Game 3. (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Lightning celebrate the game winning goal in overtime of Game 3. (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)


In a wild Game 3, where the Rangers squandered an early 2-0 lead in the first, when Henrik Lundqvist could not control a shot by Alex Killorn, and let the rebound go straight to Steven Stamkos, who buried it. That made the score 2-1 Rangers and it destroyed an opening period in which the Blueshirts dominated. That goal set the tone for the second period. It was a goal that should never have been scored. Lundqvist HAD to direct the puck somewhere else, than straight at Stamkos.

The Rangers scored early, as a bad penalty by the Lightning gave them an early power play. Derick Brassard took a blast that flew by Ben Bishop, as Chris Kreider set the screen in front. Kreider then set up Jesper Fast with a beauty of a pass that set Quickie (which is what his teammates call Fast) in all alone on Bishop. Jesper faked a forehand and went backhand for the goal.

In the second period, with the Lightning only down by 1 and not 2, they exploded for three goals. Ondrej Palat on the Power play, then Tyler Johnson, and then Alex Killorn.

Jesper Fast scored his second of the game late in the second to cut the lead to one. But then in the third, much like the first, Tampa took a bad penalty. This time Ryan McDonagh scored on a nifty cross ice pass from Kevin Hayes, and the score was tied at 4-4.

But then Ondrej Palat was able to beat Lundqvist and put Tampa back up by one goal: 5-4.

Things looked bleak as the game had just over two minutes left in regulation, but the Rangers kept the pressure on Tampa and a shot from Keith Yandle was stopped by Bishop, put sent home by Dan Boyle to tie the game at 5-5.

The Overtime period began and the Rangers were keeping the pressure on, but could not send one home. Lundqvist came up huge on JT Brown on a semi break and the Rangers cleared the puck. A few minutes later, Nikita Kucherov skated into the Ranger zone, cut to the middle and shot one towards the net and Henrik whiffed. He may stop that 39 times out of 40, as Stevie V. said on the MSG Post Game Show, but this time he let it go by him.

Up to that point, Henrik had made 34 saves on 39 shots, but shot number 40 made him look more like the Court Jester than the King. He may be furious about letting it in while he stews in the locker room, but how about stopping it in the first place in the OT, so the game could continue.

Friday night is Game 4 in this best of seven series and I am a glass half full guy, and have always rooted for my Rangers, but Game 4 is a MUST win for the Broadway Blueshirts. If they fall in a 3-1 hole against Tampa, they will not be making their second straight trip to the Cup Finals.

They better shore up the defense, take more shots, crash the net, skate and fill those vacant spots and send this series back to NY, tied at 2-2. Or ELSE!!!

And a memo to the King, I understand you faced 40 shots and stopped 34 of them, but number 40 had to be stopped. Get mad, get fired up, BUT stop the puck. The Rangers need you to play like the King you are, not some lousy Court Jester. That game was ripe for the picking and could have been stolen by the Rangers and would have broken the spirit of the Lightning. Instead, they have a 2-1 series lead.

Or, you can say that the Rangers did not play their best and only lost in OT on a shot that should have been stopped, which will give them momentum into Game 4.

Either way you look at it, Game 4 is a MUST WIN FOR THE NY RANGERS!!!!




NYR: Derick Brassard (6) PPG Assisted by Dan Boyle & Derek Stepan

NYR: Jesper Fast (2) Assisted by Chris Kreider & Ryan McDonagh

TBL: Steven Stamkos (5) Assisted by Alex Killorn

TBL: Ondrej Palat (5) PPG Assisted by Tyler Johnson & Steven Stamkos

TBL: Tyler Johnson (12) Assisted by Ondrej Palat & Victor Hedman

TBL: Alex Killorn (6) Assisted by Victor Hedman

NYR: Jesper Fast (3) Assisted by Kevin Klein & Derek Stepan

NYR: Ryan McDonagh (3) PPG Assisted by Kevin Hayes & Keith Yandle

TBL: Ondrej Palat (6) Assisted by Nikita Nesterov & Nikita Kucherov

NYR: Dan Boyle (3) Assisted by J. T. Miller & Keith Yandle

OT: TBL: Nikita Kucherov (7) Assisted by Nikita Nesterov

Team Stats                              NYR                              TBL

Shots on Goal                         28                                  40

Power Play                              2 for 4                           1 for 2

Hits                                         33                                  41

Face off Wins                         27                                  32

Giveaways                              10                                  11

Takeaways                             6                                    8

Blocks                                     14                                  13


Goalie Stats:

Ben Bishop: 23 Saves on 28 Shots for a SV% of .821

Henrik Lundqvist: 34 Saves on 40 Shots for a SV% of .850


3 Stars of the Game:

3rd Star: Jesper Fast: 2 Goals

2nd Star: Ondrej Palat: 2 Goals and 1 Assist

1st Star: Nikita Kucherov: 1 Goal and 1 Assist, (Game winning Goal in OT)


Broadway Bits:


This was the first loss in OT in this playoff season for the NY Rangers. They had won the first four they played.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are now 3-0 in OT games this playoff season

Henrik Lundqvist said that he “didn’t pick it up”, meaning the game winning goal in OT. He also said that he had “to dig deep” and stick to his game plan.

Henrik Lundqvist has now given up six goals in two consecutive games.

Henrik answers the questions and says that he made an error, allowed the goal and does not make excuses. He is accountable for his mistakes. And that game winning goal was a mistake.
Ranger Coach Alain Vigneault on the OT:

“In overtime everyone is thinking to be a shooter. Hank had stopped the breakaway right before that to give us a chance, and then sometimes stuff happens.”

Jesper Fast had the first two-goal playoff game of his career.

Derek Stepan had two assists, as did Keith Yandle

Dan Boyle and Ryan McDonagh had a goal and an assist each

Ranger Coach Alain Vigneault on Game 3:

“Sometimes game unfold differently. You have two of the highest scoring teams in the league, so you’re going to get some nights where there are going to be more goals. This was one of those nights.”

Derek Stepan on Jesper Fast:

“It’s no secret how he’s played for us, he’s played really great for us. My line – me and Kreids – have really built some good chemistry with him. It’s good to see because he works extremely hard.”

Game 4 will be Friday May 22nd at 8:00PM EST

Game 5 will be back at the Garden on Sunday May 24th at 8:00PM EST

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