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Thursday, December 8, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Bolts 3, Rangers 2 (SO)

By Katie Strang




Recap | Box score | Photos

What it means: Dominic Moore, whose wayward shot broke teammate Marty St. Louis' face at the team's morning skate, redeemed himself with a late equalizer and the lone shootout goal for the Lightning to snap their five-game losing streak. The Rangers fell 3-2 in the shootout to drop their second straight game.

Shots fired: The game erupted midway through the second period when a frustrated Lightning squad went after Artem Anisimov for his colorful goal celebration. Following his short-handed marker to snap a 1-1 draw at 13:23, Anisimov flipped his stick to mimic a shotgun, knelt down near the right circle and pretended to aim and fire toward Tampa Bay’s net. Incensed Bolts captain Vinny Lecavalier charged the 23-year-old forward and ignited a heated scrum. Brandon Dubinsky dropped the gloves against Bolts defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron and Steve Downie charged Anisimov. The skirmish resulted in 38 total penalty minutes, 16 to Anisimov, who received a minor unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, double-minor for roughing and 10-minute misconduct.

Changing ways: Downie could be hearing from NHL sheriff Brendan Shanahan for leaping off the Lightning bench during the stoppage and going after Anisimov, although the nature of the change will be a determining factor. If the change is deemed illegal, he is subject to an automatic 10-game suspension. However, if it is ruled legal (i.e., Downie came on for Brett Connolly after a goal) then it is not automatic, although he may still face supplementary discipline.

Redemption for Moore: The former Ranger, whose backhanded shot sidelined teammate St. Louis with facial fractures Thursday morning, shoveled a backhander past Henrik Lundqvist for a shorthanded goal that tied the game at 2 with 1:57 to play.

Man-advantage: With Ryan Callahan's laser from the left circle at 7:49 in the first, the Rangers scored their sixth power-play goal in the past seven games.

Richards is rolling: Picking up an assist on Callahan’s 11th goal of the season, Brad Richards extended his point streak to seven games. The 31-year-old center has recorded 11 points (four goals, seven assists) during that span.

Turnover to tie: Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh committed a cringe-worthy turnover that led to Ryan Malone's goal at 11:23 of the second. McDonagh blindly backhanded the puck right to Malone, who knotted the teams at 1.

Missing Marty: The Lightning played without the veteran 36-year-old St. Louis for the first time since Nov. 14, 2005. St Louis’ streak ended at 499 consecutive games played after the ironman took an errant shot to the face from Moore in Tampa’s skate Thursday morning. St. Louis, who was immediately taken to a local hospital to have his eye evaluated, suffered facial and nasal fractures in the freak accident. No timetable has been provided for his return.

Messier will play: During the first intermission, legendary captain Mark Messier announced on the MSG broadcast that he will postpone shoulder surgery to join the Rangers squad in the Winter Classic Alumni Game on Dec. 31.

Up next: Rangers at Sabres, Saturday at 7 p.m.