TAMPA, Fla. — Barclay Goodrow wasn’t sure what the best part of his day was.
In his return to Tampa, the city to which he helped deliver two Stanley Cups, Goodrow started the day off receiving his second championship ring. He then watched from the Rangers bench mid-game as the Amalie Arena Jumbotron displayed a heartfelt tribute video of his two seasons with the Lightning, before the entire building rose to its feet to give him a standing ovation.
To tie it all together, Goodrow scored two goals to help propel the Rangers to a 4-3 shootout win over his former club.
“The win felt great,” he said. “The standing ovation was something else, you know. It was one of those moments where I’m just thinking to myself like, ‘What is this life?’ Here I am a member of the New York Rangers and I’m coming back here, two-time Stanley Cup champion and I’m getting a video tribute on the Jumbotron. It’s just something beyond my wildest dreams.
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“Growing up as a kid, you dream of making it to the NHL. But, I mean, I couldn’t have dreamt of this. It was a pretty special day. Being able to score a couple goals, get the win, just topped everything off. There was a lot of good things that happened today.”
Both of Goodrow’s tallies regained leads for the Rangers, with the first one coming while shorthanded in the second period and the other in the final frame. He made Brian Elliott pay for a botched pass far out of the crease, going five-hole on the Lightning goaltender for the 2-1 score before tipping in a K’Andre Miller shot later in the game.
“Perfect ending to the story for him,” head coach Gerard Gallant said. “Getting the Stanley Cup ring and then the little show they had after the first six or seven minutes of that period. For him to have a game like that, a shorthanded goal and then another big goal for us. Good for him.”
Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin turned aside 25 of the 28 shots he faced in regulation, before coming up with three big saves in the shootout on the NHL’s top point-producing defenseman in Victor Hedman, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and second-line center Brayden Point.
“He was big for us again tonight,” Gallant said. “And he was huge in the shootout, to stop all three shooters.”
Looking to try and shake things up with top-pair defenseman Ryan Lindgren still in COVID-19 protocol, Gallant shuffled the defensive pairs on Friday.
Adam Fox was partnered with Patrik Nemeth, while Libor Hajek and Nils Lundkvist forged a young third duo.
“We just talked about it this morning, [assistant coach Gord Murphy] and I and the coaching staff,” Gallant said. “We just thought, you know what, let’s try something different a little bit. It’s nothing like the other guys weren’t playing good enough, just trying to get a switch.”