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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Lightning 2, Rangers 1

By Matt Ehalt

NEW YORK -- A nine-second span left the Rangers with a loss Tuesday night.

Tampa Bay scored twice in nine seconds in the second period to send the Rangers to a 2-1 loss on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Rangers, as well as a stretch of five consecutive games in which they registered a point.

THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY: The Rangers led 1-0 after the first period, but the Lightning quickly took the lead in the second. Tampa Bay scored on a power play to even the game at 1:10 of the second, and scored again at 1:19 when the Lightning won the ensuing faceoff and Nikita Kucherov raced past Michael Del Zotto for a breakaway. Kucherov beat Henrik Lundqvist to put Tampa Bay ahead 2-1.

NOT HIS NIGHT: After Del Zotto got beat for the go-ahead goal, some fans chanted "Trade Del Zotto." Del Zotto was on the bench for most of the remainder of the period as he played a total of just 3:37 in the second period. He was sparsely used in the final stanza too. Del Zotto has been benched for nine games already this season and seems to have a consistent spot in coach Alain Vigneault's doghouse. He might be back in there after Tuesday's efforts.

MISSED CHANCES: The Rangers had plenty of good opportunities to add more goals, but they weren't able to convert on their chances. They outshot the Lightning 34-25, and had far more clean looks at the net. Lightning goalie Ben Bishop had to work hard to preserve the Lightning's advantage.

NO POWER: The Rangers had scored a power-play goal in five straight games but didn't cash in their two opportunities Tuesday.

SIX STRAIGHT: Brad Richards recorded a point in his sixth straight game when he scored the opening goal at 11:55 of the first. Richards now has 12 goals.

UP NEXT: The Rangers host Detroit on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.