Bolts lack punch in loss to Rangers

by Gary Shelton on February 8, 2024

in general

Hagel scored his 17th goal./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Maybe the Tampa Bay Lightning should have stayed on break.

The second half of the season began for the Bolts Wednesday night. It could have gone better.

The Bolts dropped a 3-1 game to the New York Rangers, the first-place team of the Metropolitan Division. The Bolts had had an 11-day break for the all-star game. Still, they managed just 20 shots, and only one got past Rangers’ goalie Jonathan Quick.

The Rangers scored twice in the second period with goals by Jimmy Vesey and Jonny Brodzinsky,

Brandon Hagel scored his 17th goal to slice the deficit to one goal, but Vesey scored on an empty-netter to cinch the game.

Bolts’ forward Nikita Kucherov assisted on Hagel’s goal to retake the NHL points race.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 21 of 23 shots in the loss.

The Bolts play again tonight, staying in New York to face the Islanders.

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