The Tampa Bay Lightning's road trip got off to a rough start on Tuesday night as they fell to the host New York Rangers 4-1.
But that's not all they lost.
Both Patrick Maroon (upper-body) and Victor Hedman (lower-body) sustained injuries and did not return to the game.
Things got hot and heavy with these two teams right from the jump.
Maroon and the Rangers' Micheal Haley dropped the gloves just 1:56 into the game, and then just 17 seconds later, Luke Witkowski was whistled for boarding when he took New York defenseman Ryan Lindgren hard into the boards and chaos ensued.
Witkowski was the only player sent to the box, but the Lightning were able to kill off the penalty.
It was pretty even for the majority of the period, but the Bolts were finally able to cash-in with just over four minutes to go in the first.
The Lightning put together a great shift that had the Rangers on their heels and gasping for air. Once New York was able to finally clear the zone, it wasn't good enough because Brayden Point found the puck and raced in along the right wing on Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev. Point was able to fend off a check from New York defenseman Brady Skjei and slid one over to Nikita Kucherov for the easy goal to put Tampa Bay up 1-0.
One of the things that really has hurt the Lightning early in the season has been penalties and it was the reason why the Rangers found the equalizer just shy of the midway point of the second period.
Following penalties to Mathieu Joseph and Ondrej Palat, New York had a short 5-on-3 advantage that got pressure but no goals. Then, Joseph's penalty expired to make it a 5-on-4 but a bad bounce doomed the Bolts.
Rangers rookie sensation Kaapo Kakko fired a shot from the slot that Andrei Vasilevskiy was able to save, but the rebound caromed off Braydon Coburn and into the net to tie the game at 1.
In the third period, the Lightning tried to stay in the game but just simply ran out of gas.
Filip Chytil scored at the 12:46 mark on a one-handed re-direction out of mid-air to give the Rangers the lead.
Adam Fox scored his 1st NHL goal on a rebound of a Chris Kreider shot at 17:24.
And then Ryan Strome punctuated the victory with an empty-net goal at 19:14.
Vasilevskiy stood on his head for the majority of the night stopping 38 of the 41 shots he saw.
Georgiev was also up to the task stopping 29 of 30.
WHAT A G! : In a really nice pregame ceremony, Dan Girardi was honored on the ice in front of the two teams that he played for in his NHL career. Really cool gesture by the Rangers and very nice to do it when the Lightning are in town.
OH NO ANTHONY : Anthony Cirelli did not participate in morning skate was announced to be a game-time decision. He did not play in the game against the Rangers due to an upper-body injury and Jon Cooper did not sound optimistic about his status saying he "hopes" that it's not a long-term issue. Maroon was walking around outside of the locker room after the game and Cooper said seemed much more hopeful that he would play in New Jersey than Hedman.
ALEX GETS A CHANCE : According to his agent Dan Milstein, it looks like Alex Volkov will be recalled from Syracuse. That could give you a better idea of the severity of the Cirelli injury. We will keep you abreast of the situation as more news is announced.
- Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Point, Stamkos) - 15:44
- New York - PPG - Kakko - (Strome, Panarin) - 9:37
- New York - Chytil - (Buchnevich) - 12:46
- New York - Fox - (Kreider, Lindgren) - 17:24
- New York - ENG - Strome - (Unassisted) - 19:14
- New York - Haley - (Fighting Major) - 1:56
- Tampa Bay - Maroon - (Fighting Major) - 1:56
- Tampa Bay - Witkowski - (Boarding) - 2:13
- New York - Kakko - (Slashing) - 17:40
- Tampa Bay - Joseph - (Interference) - 7:10
- Tampa Bay - Palat - (Slashing) - 8:50
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action tomorrow night as they travel to New Jersey to take on the Devils. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm with the pregame show starting at 6:30pm on NewsRadio WFLA.