New York Rangers Lose 6-5 to Tampa Bay Lightning

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The New York Rangers took on the Tampa Bay Lightning in what was one of the wildest games of the playoffs for New York, yet they would be burned on the road.

23. Final. 5. 95. 6

FIRST PERIOD: Just 26 seconds in, the boos poured into Amalie Arena as Cedric Paquette took a seat for roughing. The New York Rangers took advantage of the power play as Chris Kreider set up a screen in front of Bolts giant, Ben Bishop. Rangers’ Derick Brassard (6) then sent a rising shot upstairs and found net for the early lead, Dan Boyle (5) and Derek Stepan (6) tallying assists.

Moments later, the Tampa Bay Lightning went on their first power play when Dominic Moore took a penalty for cross checking against Mr. hat trick, Tyler Johnson. In the final seconds of the Bolts’ man-advantage, Henrik Lundqvist denied Alex Killorn at the doorstep and a surprisingly loud Hen-rik chant erupted (Shout out to the Rangers fans in Tampa Bay!).

Midway through the period, Kreider rushed up the boards and fed the puck to Jesper Fast speeding up the middle of the ice. Fast (2) faked a forehand, switched to the backhand and fooled Bishop for the 2-0 lead.

Soon after, Lightning’s Captain, Steven Stamkos, stole the puck away from Dan Boyle, flew up the ice and passed to Killorn. Lundqvist tried to clear the puck from the crease but Stamkos (5) was right there to bury a wrist shot for Tampa’s first goal of the game, bringing the score to 2-1.

The teams then headed back to the locker room with the Lightning up in shots on goal, 12-9.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

SECOND PERIOD: At 2:18, Tampa was caught with too many men on the ice and the Rangers got their second power play. The Bolts kept the Rangers from getting a handle on the play and the teams were soon back to even-strength.

A delayed penalty on Tampa then created huge pressure around the Bolts net. New York kept puck possession for quite a while, long enough to get a few good chances, but Bishop was able to stop play. With Nikita Nesterov in the box for interference, Tampa easily staved off any chance for the Rangers to score.

Brassard was then penalized for hooking at 10:11 and the Bolts wasted no time on the power play. Ondrej Palat (5) quickly tied up the game, 2-2, with a drive-by shot past Lundqvist and you could feel all the momentum shifting to favor the home team.

Stuck in the Rangers zone, both teams drew penalties: Keith Yandle for holding and Brenden Morrow for tripping. On the 4-on-4, Johnson (12) was left all alone near the net when he tallied his 12th goal in 16 playoff games, pulling Tampa ahead, 3-2.

Killorn (6) caused more trouble for the Rangers as he went hard to the net, waited and waited with the puck on his tape and fired at just the right moment to put Tampa ahead, 4-2. However, the Rangers answered back seconds later. Parked in front of the net, Fast (3) went top shelf, making it a one goal game again.

By the end of forty minutes, the Lightning overshadowed the Rangers in shots again, this time 12-7.

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THIRD PERIOD: Less than a couple minutes in, Tampa’s Andrej Sustr was called for tripping against Fast. On the power play, Kevin Hayes passed through a sea of blue to Ryan McDonagh (3). The Captain lifted the puck up and into the net to tie the game, 4-4.

Past the midpoint, New York put Tampa’s defense and Bishop to work, sustaining heavy pressure. Nevertheless, the Bolts took back the lead with 5:55 left as Palat (6) weaved through Rangers and shoveled the puck past Lundqvist.

When all hope seemed lost, Rick Nash fired from the point and who but Dan Boyle (3) saved the day by sweeping the rebound in, tying the game with less than two minutes left in regulation.

OVERTIME: Rangers held great puck possession until a Bolt went on a huge breakaway, but Hank stayed with him to block the shot. That only seemed to fuel the Lightning’s fire as they walked into the Rangers zone and Nikita Kucherov (7) went face to face with Lundqvist, able to sink the game winning goal, 3:33 in.

The loss was a huge disappointment. It was far from an elimination game, but this was a playoff game and it was hard fought. The Rangers had never before scored over four goals in a playoff game this year and yet it had gone to waste. They must remember to stay disciplined and avoid mistakes if they’re going to survive the next contest with Tampa.

STARS OF THE GAME:

1- Nikita Kucherov

2- Ondrej Palat

3- Jesper Fast

Next: Carl Hagelin Needs to Wake Up

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