NHL Game Night: 3-6-18 Rangers at Ex-Rangers

The Lightning's two periods were two goals better than the Rangers' three periods.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the win. Vasy increases his league-leading wins total to 40. He should get plenty of rest over the next week as the Lightning only have two games and Domingue may get one. Cooper has to be careful about going into the playoffs with a tired goaltender.

First Period
2:31 TB Paquette (3), (Kunitz, Callahan)
7:50 TB Erne (3), (Cirelli)

Second Period
1:53 TB Cirelli (2), (Sergachev, Killorn)
7:10 NYR Spooner (11), (Hayes, Fast)
12:35 TB Kunitz (12), (Cirelli)
17:30 TB Johnson (19) (Kucherov, Sergachev)

Third Period
3:27 NYR Zuccarello (11), (Spooner)
17:41 NYR Hayes (19), (O'Gara, Spooner)

Anthony Cirelli, Chris Kunitz, and Mikhail Sergachev were the game's three stars.

For the times that the Lightning tended to play down to their competition, the ex-Rangers came out flying against the current version of the Rangers, beating up on them over two periods and chasing King Henrik. The third period was the Lightning skating in circles while the Rangers made things interesting enough to play the invisible goalie. While not ideal, the fact the Lightning has been outscored 4-0 in the last two third periods isn't too big of a deal just yet.

Anthony Cirelli had a goal, two assists, 3 shots, a plus-3 rating, one hit, one block, a takeaway, and was 47% on draws in 12:53. Lightning fans got a great look at what the scouts see in him: He's a grinder who plays like a top-sixer... or is he a top-sixer who plays like a grinder? Either way, fans saw him win key battles on the forecheck, one resulting in Kunitz's goal. Cirelli is up with the Lightning on a non-emergency basis, so it appears he's up for good as Tampa Bay has only four call-ups to use before the playoffs. He's looking like your future 3C. Maybe current.

Adam Erne had a goal, had 3 shots, a plus-3 rating, two hits, a giveaway, and a takeaway in 12:06. A fine performance and a quick-decision goal, which what you like to see from a north-south player like him. He's playing his way onto the playoff roster.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.