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2015 NHL Playoffs Game 17 recap: Rangers even series with 5-1 win

Not much goes the Lightning's way as they fall to the Rangers 5-1 at Amalie Arena, evening the Eastern Conference Final at two games apiece.

New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist steers away a shot from Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson in the Rangers 5-1 win Friday night.
New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist steers away a shot from Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson in the Rangers 5-1 win Friday night.
Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 at Amalie Arena Friday night.

Not much to say about this one. For the most part, at least until the game got out of hand in the third period, the Lightning played exactly the way they need to play to be successful. They were fast, they got lots of really good scoring opportunities and their fair share of time on the power play. They outshot the Rangers 39 to 24, including some at point blank range. And of course, it should go without saying that Henrik Lundqvist is not the kind of goalie who's going to give up six goals a game on a regular basis and when he rebounds, he's going to do so in a spectacular fashion.

That, along with just about everything else went the Rangers' way tonight. All you really need to know is that high-profile players who have been utter non-factors throughout the postseason managed to find their way on to the scoresheet for New York.

The Rangers opened the scoring with a goal late in the first period, which was answered by Steven Stamkos, getting assists from Alex Killorn and Valtteri Filppula at 11:30 of the second. The score remained tied for about four minutes before the Rangers ran off a string of four unanswered goals over the remainder of the game. Even down 3-1 at the second intermission, there was a sense that the Lightning were still in it, playing well enough that if they could get the benefit of a fortunate bounce or two, they could climb right back in, That, simply didn't happen.

The facts of the matter are: 1) Most of the time, an effort like this yields positive results for the Lightning and 2) The Rangers are a very good team and sometimes an opponent has to be perfect, or better, to beat them. It's the Lightning's turn to make adjustments now and we'll find out how that works out in Game 5 on Saturday in New York.

Game notes:

  • Tampa Bay is now 1-2 in Game 4's this postseason.
  • The Lightning have six players who have at least 10 points in the postseason, most of any playoff team.
  • The Lightning power play had converted in each of the Eastern Conference Final games up until now and in five of their previous seven games. They're 12 for their last 33 opportunities.
  • Mark Barberio made his first appearance in the playoffs, filling in for an injured Matthew Carle. He logged 8:44 of ice time over 13 shifts and posted a -1.
  • The Lightning honored Tony Dungy as the 50th Lightning Community Hero of the season during the first period of tonight's game. Dungy, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Abe Brown Ministries, St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation and Dungy Family Foundation.For nearly two decades Tony Dungy has been a guiding light for many in the Tampa Bay area. In his 30 years in the National Football League, including winning a Super Bowl in 2006, the name ‘Dungy' has been synonymous with community involvement. He has been an inspiration for people through programs like Mentors for Life and Baskets for Hope. Dungy has also lent his support to Abe Brown Ministries, which helps ex-offenders transition back into society. He has also been heavily involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club and Family First. He has taught people to get the most out of life and become better people.