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Lightning Round: New York forces Game 7 against Carolina

The Bolts will have to wait until Monday to know their Eastern Conference final opponent

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New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Five Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, forcing Game 7 in the second consecutive series for both teams. The Canes still can’t get a road win, but fortunately for them the deciding game will be played at their home ice in Raleigh.

The Rangers quickly got on board with two goals by Tyler Motte and Mika Zibanejad in the first ten minutes of the first period. Filip Chytil made it 3-0 in the beginning of the second period, the Canes responded with Brady Skjei goal, but Chytil scored again to return a three-goal lead for the Rangers. A little bit later Vincent Trocheck cut the gap to two goals again, but the Canes couldn’t get past Igor Shesterkin since that moment. Artemi Panarin scored another goal in the third period to make it 5-2.

Igor Shesterkin not only made 37 saves in this game, winning his fourth game when facing elimination in the playoffs, but also recorded two assists, becoming just the fifth goaltender in the NHL history to score two assists in a single playoff game.

The winner of Game 7 will face the Lightning in the Eastern Conference final, starting on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST.

Lightning Links

The analysis of the Lightning’s penalty kill, which has been a game-changer this playoffs for the team [The Athletic, paid content]

The Lightning are in their sixth conference final in eight years for many reasons. There’s the stellar play of Vasilevskiy, the clutch moments by Nikita Kucherov, the guts and gore that come with blocking 77 shots in a four-game series. But Tampa Bay wouldn’t be in this position had it not been for stellar work by their penalty kill, which neutralized the league’s top-ranked power play (Leafs) and fifth-ranked power play (Panthers) in back-to-back series. If the Rangers rally to beat the Hurricanes and are the Lightning’s next opponent, they boast the fourth-best power play in the league.

The Lightning players had been asked about their go-to karaoke songs.