Barclay Goodrow was an integral part of the back-to-back Stanley Cup runs by the Tampa Bay Lightning but he’s a Ranger now, and he clearly isn’t conflicted about where his allegiances lie. Goodrow technically was the player who started the little dust-up that occurred near the end of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Rangers and Lightning Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
As the Rangers’ Ryan Reaves and Tampa Bay’s Ryan McDonagh were battling for a puck along the boards, and the whistle was about to blow stopping play, Goodrow came in and cross-checked Tampa Bay forward Brandon Hagel.
Hagel didn’t appreciate it, after the whistle and said some angry words to Goodrow. That started everybody pairing off, Reaves with McDonagh, Goodrow with Hagel and Tyler Motte with Cal Foote, who threw several gloved punches to the side of Motte’s head.
Eventually, McDonagh ended up punching Motte, and Reaves took Pat Maroon down to the ice. Five skaters on the ice for each team were given roughing minors. Goodrow also took a cross-checking penalty.
Blais return ‘unlikely’
Gallant was asked before the game if he thought Sammy Blais, out since November with a torn ACL, might play in the series. “I can’t see it, but I don’t know,’’ he said. “It’s unlikely.’’
“He’s been out, and he hasn’t played a game,’’ Gallant said. “It’s not like he’s played in that American Hockey League for two or three weeks. He hasn’t played a hockey game in six months. So, fairly unlikely.’’
The six goals the Rangers scored in Game 1 were double the number of goals Tampa Bay allowed in its sweep of Florida . . . Injured Tampa Bay forward Brayden Point skated Wednesday by himself for the first time while wearing equipment, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. Cooper said to “temper expectations,’’ as far as whether Point could play in the series.