New York Rangers Face Excruciating Task In Tampa Bay Lightning


With the New York Rangers advancing past the 2nd round, it is now on to the Eastern Conference Finals in an excruciating matchup vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The New York Rangers did it again. For the 2nd season in a row, in the 2nd round of the playoffs, down 3-1 in the series, the Rangers came back and won 3 straight to win the series in 7 games.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

Last season the Rangers accomplished this feat vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins and now this season against the
Washington Capitals as well.  With this the Rangers have now become the first team in NHL history to win 3 straight, after trailing 3-1 in a series, back to back seasons.  These 3-1 series comebacks over the last two seasons were also the first two in Rangers’ history as well.

But now it is on to the 3rd round of the postseason, or the Eastern Conference Finals, where the Rangers will take on a few of their ex-teammates (Brian Boyle, Anton Stralman, and Rangers’ former captain Ryan Callahan) in the
Tampa Bay Lightning.

Now the Capitals were a very tough 2nd round opponent for the Rangers, and I do not want to take anything away from them, however, I must say that the Lightning are just a whole other animal.

This season the Rangers and Lightning faced off against each other 3 times during the regular season, where the Lightning won all 3 games, two of them by very convincing fashion.  The 1st time they played this season, the Rangers were annihilated by the Lightning by a 5-1 final score at Madison Square Garden, the 2nd game was in Tampa Bay, and while the score was a lot closer, the Lightning still edged the Rangers by a 4-3 final score, and in their final matchup of the regular season, the Lightning once again crushed the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, this time by a 6-3 final score.

The good news is that all 3 of those games were at the beginning of the season, in November and December, before the Rangers found their overall game.  However, the Rangers win-less regular season record is not all the Rangers have to worry about in this series.

What the Rangers have to worry about the most is getting to Lightning’s starting goaltender, Ben Bishop, who in his career has made it look quite easy to beat the Rangers.  In Bishop’s career, against the Rangers, his record is currently 8-0 with a 1.49 goals against average, a .946 save percentage, and 2 shutouts.

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Now Rangers’ starting goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, may be better than Bishop, and arguably the best goaltender in the NHL today, but we have to remember that this series will not be Lundqvist vs. Bishop.  Instead, this series will be Lundqvist vs. the Lightning’s offense and Bishop vs. the Rangers’ offense, and if you are going by recent history, this matchup tends to favor the Lightning way more than it does the Rangers.

All in all, with the Rangers’ offense struggling to accomplish anything against Bishop over the past few years, and with the Lightning owning the Rangers this season, this series, while not entirely impossible, will be an excruciating task for the Rangers to complete and come out victorious in the end.

Next: New York Rangers' Record Against Tampa Bay Means Nothing

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