New York Rangers Lit Up By Lightning Storm In Loss


Behind strong play and an offensive onslaught, the Tampa Bay Lightning even the series with the New York Rangers

95. Final. 6. 23. 2

First Period

To start the game, a patriotic tribute by the cadets of West Point and the colors held by the FDNY got the crowd set for Game Two.

The Lightning made good on their goal of being more physical with the New York Rangers. Plenty of bodies colliding.

The first penalty of the game came against former Ranger and Game One absentee Brian Boyle for holding giving the Rangers the first power play of the game. After :53 into it, Lightning defenseman was called for delay of game for deflecting the puck into the crowd, giving the Rangers a five-on-three man advantage.

Unfortunately, the Lightning were able to score a short-handed goal off a bad turnover between Martin St. Louis and Dan Boyle, near the blue line. Tyler Johnson was the beneficiary for his ninth goal of the playoffs, after staying with the puck after his back-handed shot was stopped by Henrik Lundqvist. It was under review, however the replay showed that the puck crossed the goal line before the net was knocked off its moorings from St. Louis’ diving attempt.

The Rangers regrouped and got the one goal back on their third power play. Chris Kreider was in front of Ben Bishop after the initial shot was taken from Boyle. The puck was tipped by St. Louis and the stop made by Bishop. However, he could not coral the loose puck and Kreider was there to kick it to his stick and get it past the Lightning’s goaltender. It was Kreider’s sixth goal of the playoffs with assists going to St. Louis (5) and Boyle (3).

A second goal for the Lightning was scored by Johnson (10) on a four-on-three power play. After a shot was blocked by Dan Girardi, it stunned the defenseman. The puck found its way to Johnson’s stick and he roofed the puck over Lundqvist’s shoulder. Assists were credited to Steven Stamkos (8) and Nikita Kucherov (6).

A seventh penalty of the game was called on the Ranger’s Derick Brassard for hi-sticking Lightning’s forward Valtteri Flippula. A fourth power play was awarded to Tampa Bay but was killed by the Rangers’ penalty kill unit.

The period ended with penalties galore. The Lightning definitely played better as compared to Game One. Aggressive and disruption seemed to be their goal. The Rangers outshot their opponents 11-9.

Second Period

As the period opened, the Rangers were down by a goal, but still 40 minutes of play. Last period saw the team take undisciplined penalties, a trend that carried over from the third period of Game One.

Through the first eight minutes of the second, there was plenty of action on both sides of the ice.

The Lightning made it 3-1 after a mad scramble in front of Lundqvist. An odd-man rush was started after Marc Staal tripped himself while trying to keep the puck in the offensive zone. It was off to the races, as Nikita Kucherov brought the puck with Ondrej Palat to his left. Palat rang the puck off the left post, but it bounced off the back of Lundqvist. After making the stop, the puck was loose in front where both Kucherov and the ever-present Johnson crashed for the puck. Johnson was able to get his stick on the puck and put in the Rangers net for his 11th of the playoffs and the natural hat-trick. Assists were credited to Palat (6) and Kucherov (7).

With 5:43 left, the Rangers had their fourth power play of the game after a hi-sticking penalty was called on Cedric Paquette. After a blast from Dan Boyle, Bishop made the stop but gave up a rebound to Derek Stepan. He put a shot on goal, which was stopped. Seeing Bishop out of position and drifting behind the net, Stepan put the puck towards the front of the net which bounced off a Lightning player. The puck inadvertently deflected of the skate and into the Lightning’s net to make the score 3-2. It was Stepan’s fifth goal of the season. Assists were credited to Boyle (4) and Brassard (5).

The period ended wild and action-packed. Both teams scored keeping the Lightning within in one goal, heading to the third. The Rangers outshot their opponents 10-6 this period.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

Third Period

Down a goal, the Rangers need to push the pace.

After killing a Lightning power play, the score became 4-2. At 16:51, Alex Killorn pushed the Lightning lead to two goals. After Victor Hedman faked a shot on goal and passed to his right, Killorn sniped a one-timer over a out-stretched Lundqvist for his first goal of the series, fourth of the playoffs. Assists were credited to Hedman (7) and Filppula (5).

At 13:32, the Lightning extended their lead to three goals. With their fifth power play of the game, the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos registered his first goal of the series. He got by way of tip-in of a Brayden Coburn blast from the top of the offensive zone. It his second assist with Kucherov (8) getting the secondary.

The Rangers tried everything they could to get back into the game. They had scoring chances but either it was either Bishop or a Lightning player in the way. They appeared to be quicker to the puck and allowed no wiggle room for the Rangers along the boards.

A positive for the Rangers to take away and to build upon for next game was uneasiness of Bishop in net. In this game, he was seen not as calm in net and was seen out of position.

A little bit of anger that is sure to be revisited in Game Three was seen from Tanner Glass. After the whistle was called on a play, Glass was seen throwing a punch towards Andrej Sustr. For his actions, he was given a roughing and misconduct penalties that resulted in him seeing the showers early.

The Lightning added a sixth goal to the night as Alex Killorn got his second of the game on their sixth power play of the game. After a shot from the blue line from Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison from the blue plaint, Lundqvist made a glove save, which he was not able to keep in his mit. A loose puck was made available with Killorn cashing in. Assists went to Garrison (3) and Filppula (6).

As the game came to an end, the Rangers continued their dismal Game Two losing trend. The Lightning took it to the team and played their style, an exact opposite of Game One.

The series was tied, 1-1, heading down south to Amalie Arena in Florida with Game Three on Wednesday.

Stars of the Game

  • First Star-
  • Tyler Johnson (three goals, six shots, TOI-16:58)

  • Second Star-
  • Alex Killorn (two goals, one assist, TOI-20:42)

  • Third Star-
  • Nikita Kucherov (three assists, two shots, TOI-17:37)

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