The New York Rangers need to regroup in a hurry after losing Game 4 to the Tampa Bay Lighting 4-1 on Tuesday night. Thye may have to do so without the services of Filip Chytil who was injured in the second period.
How things have changed in the past two games for the New York Rangers. They arrived in Tampa Bay with a 2-0 series lead and now head back to New York even at 2 following a 4-1 loss on Tuesday.
Injuries have now become a factor with Ryan Strome, and Filip Chytil suffering injuries over the last two games.
The evening started off bad when Ryan Strome was unable to play in the game after participating in warmups. Gerard Gallant had to shuffle some of his lines around prior to faceoff. Playing without Strome is a situation the team had hoped to avoid, but it didn’t work out for the club.
The Rangers head coach felt the loss as he talked about playing the game without his number two center.
“You don’t make excuses because that’s playoff hockey, but we definitely missed Strome tonight,” Gallant said. “He’s day to day. Hopefully, he’ll be able to go Thursday.”
Blueshirts Fall Behind Early
The Rangers trailed 1-0 early in the first when the Lightning’s Patrick Maroon found a loose puck and chipped it into a wide-open net giving Tampa the lead. Things from there went downhill for the club.
The pressure of scoring an even-strength five-on-five goal is mounting. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy did not allow a five-on-five goal to the Rangers for both Games three and four. The Ranger’s forecheck, crisp passing, and confidence all went missing in action over the past two games.
Game 5 is Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers won Games 1 and 2 and are 8-1 this postseason.
Chytil Injury Big Concern
Center Filip Chytil was injured in the second period after a heavy collision into the boards for Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman with 6:22 left in the middle stanza. The injury caused havoc with line combinations for the remainder of the game.
The injury leaves the Rangers short in the middle with Strome, now Chytil, and Barclay Goodrow all battling some sought of injury.
Goodrow was a question mark right up to warmups. In-Game three he blocked a shot on the inside of his left foot, the same spot that caused him to miss 11 playoff games. He battled throughout the game, but in no way playing at 100 percent.
Gallant, speaking after the game, said the Chytil would be fine, but then stated the team would have to wait and see how he was on Wednesday.
Advantage New York
The Rangers sit in a good place. Tied at two games a piece with two of the next three games scheduled to be played at the world’s most famous arena.
This team has shown its resiliency before, but it will be put to the test. A trip to the Stankley Cup Finals is within their grasp. The Rangers control their destiny which is all you can ask for after playing 17 games in 35 days.