NHL Game Night: 11-26-14 Rangers at Lightning

Marty returns to Tampa... leaves with a L.

NYR-3
TB-4

Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 19 shots for the victory. It's so hard to stay sharp and keep a high sv% when you're facing so few shots. Good problem to have, though.

First Period
5:25 TB Stamkos (15), (Filppula, Callahan)(PP)
9:00 NYR Zuccarello (4), (Nash)
11:04 NYR Boyle (1), (Stepan, Brassard)(PP)
17:34 TB Callahan (9), (Garrison, Stamkos)(PP)

Second Period
10:17 TB Callahan (10), (Stamkos, Killorn)

Third Period
9:38 TB Kucherov (8), (Johnson, Carle)
12:49 NYR Nash (15), (unassisted)

Ryan Callahan, Steven Stamkos, and Anton Stralman were the game's three stars.

On a night when all the focus was on Martin St. Louis returning to Tampa just 2 points shy of 1,000 for his career, he was held off the board and Ryan Callahan posted 2 goals and 1 assist, instead. I wouldn't have bet on this when the trade went down, but you can make a pretty darned iron clad argument at this juncture Ryan Callahan's a better NHL player than Martin St. Louis right now. The fact the Lightning also got Slats to cough up 2 first rounders in the transaction just makes it all the more lopsided. I can't see the deal getting better looking for the Rangers as time wears on. 5 years from now I suspect it'll be pretty clear Steve Yzerman stole Sather's Rolex, car keys, and the shirt off his back in that trade. And, in his own selfish, petulant way, Marty may have done the Lightning one last solid on their way to becoming an elite superpower in the league.

Overall, I thought the Lightning again showed they're 1-2 weight classes above the Rangers in strength. In the normal run of play, the Rangers were nowhere in this contest, getting outshot 29-19. They manufactured some goals off of faceoffs and an early period turnover, but everything else was pretty well controlled by Tampa Bay. In fact, had the Lightning not sagged a little in focus right after the Marty tribute video, when the team surrendered 2 quickies, I suspect the game might've been as big a squash as the game played at MSG. The Rangers are a very mediocre-at-best team right now, and I fully expect them to surrender a pick in the 10-15 range to the Lightning in the summer draft. Beating them at every opportunity only helps to make that prophecy reality.

Cedric Paquette had 1 shot in 11:30.

Vladislav Namestnikov had 2 hits in 12:19.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.