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Rangers clobber Lightning behind Michael Grabner’s hat trick

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The good start by the Tampa Bay Lightning seems like only a distant memory.

The Lightning lost its third consecutive game Sunday night in a 6-1 clobbering at the hands of the New York Rangers.

After a scoreless first period, the Rangers scored four in the second period. Michael Grabner scored the third hat trick of his career in the win.

“It’s a test,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “But let’s pump the brakes. It’s game nine. If it was game 79, we might be a little alarmed. Let’s see how these guys pull themselves out of this.”

Cooper pointed out that breakaways and odd-man rushes led the New York effort.

“All of our players got in the passenger’s seat,” Cooper said. “No one got in the driver’s seat.”

The Lightning only scored in the third period when Steven Stankos scored on the power play.

Tampa Bay is at the New York Islanders Tuesday night before returning home to play the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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