TAMPA, Fla. — Rangers enforcer Ryan Reaves fought with Tampa Bay forward Pat Maroon early in the third period of Saturday night’s game at Amalie Arena after Maroon body-checked Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin in the second period.
When Shesterkin went behind the net to play the puck, Maroon hit the goalie and immediately was jumped by Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren. The linesmen jumped in and prevented them from fighting.
But Reaves got justice against Maroon in the third. Maroon tried to hold Reaves at arm’s length, but Reaves landed several punches and scored a victory against the bigger Maroon.
Frank Vatrano, who was acquired from the Florida Panthers in a trade Wednesday, played his second game with the Rangers on Saturday but still hadn’t practiced with them yet. But coach Gerard Gallant said that isn’t a big deal.
"Guys go to new teams all the time,’’ Gallant said. "The rest of the year you're not going to see many practices. It's just the way things are. There's so many games, and you’ve got to play a game every second day, so getting rest is more important than practice.’’
As far as learning the Rangers’ systems, Gallant said that won’t be hard for Vatrano.
"Some teams have a little bit different neutral zone system, but when you play teams, it's pretty much a copycat league,’’ he said. "Everybody does the same thing. (It’s about) who executes them better and who does a better thing. So Frank learning our system isn't going to take him a long time. Trust me.’’
Familiar surroundings for Goodrow
Barclay Goodrow returned to Tampa Bay for the second time since the Lightning traded him to the Rangers last summer, and if the second homecoming wasn’t as special as the first, the 29-year-old forward said it was still nice to be back.
"I think it'll always be cool to come back here,’’ he said. "A little less jewelry this time coming back, but yeah it's exciting. Whenever you can see the banner hanging in the rafters it obviously brings back a lot of memories. And it's cool being back.’’
Goodrow was an important part of the Lightning team that won the last two Stanley Cups, and the first time the Rangers visited Tampa, for their New Year’s Eve game against the Lightning, Goodrow was presented with his Stanley Cup ring and given a welcome back tribute video. And he scored two goals that night in an eventual 4-3 shootout win.
Gallant went with the same lineup he used Thursday against the Islanders. Defenseman Libor Hajek and right wing Julien Gauthier were scratched . . . According to CapFriendly.com transactions, the Rangers signed undrafted free agent D Brandon Scanlin from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Scanlin, 22, who is listed at 6-4, 213 pounds, had six goals and 25 assists in 38 games this season.