TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay franchise, celebrating its 20th anniversary, saluted both Brad Richards and John Tortorella on the giant video screen during the first period for their roles in winning the 2004 Stanley Cup.
How did they acknowledge the recognition? Richards did not raise his stick during the cheers when the scoreboard read "Our Cup MVP." Tortorella encouraged the Rangers on the bench while the fans gave him a standing ovation. All business.
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Ryan McDonagh, leaving the Tampa Bay Times Forum after the morning skate with a group of players, was stopped to sign dozens of autographs and was far behind the group by the time he finished . . . Ryan Callahan (dislocated shoulder) missed his second consecutive game . . . Chris Kreider (bone chip in ankle) skated in the morning with the team, but was scratched again. It's possible he could play next week . . . Steve Eminger again was a healthy scratch.
In warmups, Tortorella left his top two lines alone, but crafted new third and fourth lines: Center Jeff Halpern was on a line with Brian Boyle and Arron Asham, and Mike Rupp was on the left of center Benn Ferriero with Stu Bickel, who moved up from defense . . . The Pyatt brothers, Taylor on the Rangers and Tom on the Lightning, who grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, (also home to Marc Staal), faced each other for the third time. A group of fans behind the visiting bench held a red, white and blue banner: "All the way from Thunder Bay." . . . Rather than an assigned singer, the crowd, accompanied by an organist, sang the national anthem before the game.