The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Rangers 4-1 at home in the Eastern Conference Finals to send the series back to New York with a series tied. Nikita Kucherov scored the game winner, with Pat Maroon, Steven Stamkos, and Ondřej Palat all scoring for the Lightning in the win.
Going to single out Palat here after having two primary assists on the goals for Kucherov and Stamkos along with his goal, showing just how important he is to this team in the final year of his contract.
The Bolts offense have officially woken up after two worrying games on the road to start the matchup. They put 30 shots on Igor Shesterkin as the Bolts played the Rangers to even shots despite leading for the vast majority of the game.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 33 of 34 chances, only allowing a 6-on-4 goal at the end of the game from Artemi Panarin. The Bolts blocked 16 shots for their goalie in the game as they shut down the previously dangerous Rangers offense.
The series now heads back to Manhattan where the Rangers have been very good all playoffs, but with the Lightning’s resurgence as a team that look like champions again, it’s all up in the air. The Lightning just need one win on the road to put the Rangers on their heels.
Bogo creates with an incredible move and Maroon buries it! The Lightning opened the scoring when Bogosian put his shoulder down (not for a hit) to skate around the outside of the Rangers defender, put a slick move to get into the middle, and forced Shesterkin to give up a rebound for Maroon to bury. The fourth line has 10 goals in 15 games so far in the playoffs.
A very very good first from the Lightning, namely Perry’s two chances on the power play and Maroon’s dangerou rebound given to him by Bogosian.
That's a lot more Tampa in the first pic.twitter.com/v488ZKyvo5— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) June 8, 2022
Kuuuuch! Kucherov, who had been quiet in the early part of the series, scored again on a breakaway through the five hole. This goal wouldn’t have been possible without Rutta making a key stop at the defensive blueline, taking the puck away from the Rangers. Then Palat relayed the puck up to Kucherov who made the chance count.
The Lightning gave up a lot of shots in the second period, but little in the way of scoring chances. Despite having a 12-22 deficit in shots, the Lightning actually had the majority of expected goals, led by Kucherov and Stamkos.
Stamkos!! Palat once again did a lot of work here to get the puck into the slot for himself, forcing Shesterkin to give up a rebound on the blocker side, right to Stamkos for the rebound.
Hagel hit the post from the slot on a low-high pass, nearly giving the Lightning another insurance goal.
The Rangers pulled the goalie with four minutes to go and scored with three and a half left. Panarin on a 6-on-4 power play with Killorn in the box. Copp and Fox with the assists.
Panarin's power play goal gets the Rangers on the board pic.twitter.com/MLGjHeUO8p— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) June 8, 2022
Palat put the game away with the empty netter in the final minute to send the fans (including our own JustinG!) home happy.