The New York Rangers stole two points from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at Amalie Arena. For the majority of the game, Antti Raanta was the difference maker while the Blueshirts played some sloppy and lackluster hockey. Andrei Vasilevskiy was up to the task on the other end of the rink, but he had an easier night that the Rangers’ backstop.
Statistically, it was an ugly game for New York, and that was because the Lightning dominated possession of the puck. Tampa Bay out-chanced New York 45 to 31 in 5v5 situations for a 59.21 to 40.79 split in CF% in favor of the Lightning. Luckily the Rangers used their wheels in skill and overtime to earn the second point.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the Game Score chart from the 1-0 victory and a look at the three stars of the evening by Game Score.
1.) Antti Raanta | 3.80
Raanta was sensational in return to the crease, and with the Rangers playing against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday it made sense to give Henrik Lundqvist time to prepare. The Rangers’ backup was spectacular all night long recording a 38-save shutout.
In total Raanta came up huge in later stages of the game making 16 saves in the second period and 12 in the third period. He kept the Blueshirts in the game while Tampa was pressing, and he’s the main reason why New York picked up two points.
2.) Brady Skjei |0.68
Skjei had a very steady night on defense for the Rangers and was by all accounts their top rearguard. His usual partner Adam Clendening was a healthy scratch so he skated with Steven Kampfer. In over 16 minutes of ice time Skjei registered five shots on goal, he blocked two shots and finished with a team-best 5v5 Corsi differential of +4. Skjei is having a magnificent season and it is a shame he won’t garner consideration for the Calder Trophy due to a stacked field of candidates including Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Zach Werenski and Mitch Marner.
3.) Mika Zibanejad | 0.48
Zibanjead scored the Rangers’ game-winning goal and was able to salvage an otherwise rough night.
In addition to the goal, Zibanejad finished with a 5v5 Corsi differential of -6 and had a tough night at the faceoff dot. His goal happened to be his only shot of the night, and that was partially due to the fact that his line struggled to hold onto the puck to generate chances. Nonetheless, he was the hero by using his wheels and great hands to pot the puck past Vasilevskiy in OT.
The Rangers’ next game is on Tuesday March 7 at 7:30 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida vs. the Florida Panthers.