Here's a notebook, the main is coming
TAMPA --- The discipline that the Rangers were lacking finally came to the forefront on Saturday.
After committing six or more penalties in practically every game, the Blueshirts were whistled for just one penalty, Stu Bickel’s hooking at 3:16 of the first period, which resulted in Steven Stamkos’ opening goal, the first of two.
“They got a power play goal, and they got a goal 6 on 5 (with the goalie pulled),” said Martin Biron. “Otherwise nothing else. We knew that they have a power play that’s like 40 percent (35 actually), so that was a key for us, to stay out of the box.”
And for the first time in four games, the team did not commit a too-many-men on the ice infraction. “Our lines changes were better,” said Tortorella.
Defenseman Marc Staal said that the focus and positioning was evident throughout the game. “We were in their end zone for a lot of the game….those wall battles, protecting the puck, things we were inconsistent with,” said Staal. “Even on draws, knowing where to be. I feel like we were talking a lot more, that keeps us in good positions where you don’t have to reach with your stick.”
During the first period, the Lightning, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, saluted both Brad Richards and Tortorella on the giant video screen for their roles in winning the 2004 Stanley Cup. Richards did not respond during the cheers when the scoreboard read “Our Cup MVP”. Nor did Tortorella when his tribute was shown. He was encouraging the Rangers on the bench while the fans gave him a standing ovation…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 was a healthy scratch again.