The New York Rangers will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Rangers had a record of 52-24-6 this season. The Lightning finished the season with a record of 51-23-8. These two teams played each other three times this season with the Rangers winning all three games. Tampa Bay leads the series 3-2. The puck drops at 8 PM EST.
Rangers Lose Crucial Game Five
New York scored first in game five but the Lightning scored three unanswered after that and the Rangers lost game five 3-1. Ryan Lindgren scored the lone goal. Igor Shesterkin stopped 24 out of 26 shots faced. It was just the second loss in the playoffs at home for New York and puts them on the brink in game 6 at Tampa Bay.
The offense was average for the Rangers this season. They scored three goals or more in eight out of their last 10 games to end the year. The Rangers ranked 16th in goals per game and 28th in shots per game. Artemi Panarin led the team with 96 points. Chris Kreider was third in the league with 52 goals. The offense was not a problem for the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs, as they scored four goals or more in five out of the seven games in round one. The Rangers’ offense showed up big in games six and seven in the second round, scoring five goals in game six and six goals in game seven. In the first game against the Lightning, the Rangers scored six goals, with six players each having two points in the game. In the second game, New York scored three goals. The Rangers scored two goals in game three and just one goal in games four and five. Mika Zibanejad leads the team with 24 points in the playoffs.
The defense was fairly good and goaltending was excellent for the Rangers. They ranked second in goals against per game and 11th in shots against per game. Igor Shesterkin was outstanding in the net for the Rangers. He had a record of 36-13-4 with a 2.07 GAA and .935 SV%. Shesterkin ranked first in GAA, first in SV%, and third in shutouts among all goalies in the league. Shesterkin struggled in the first round of the playoffs, allowing three goals or more in six out of seven games in the first round. He was excellent in the series against Carolina, allowing two goals or less in six out of seven games. He allowed two goals in each of the first two games of this series and in game five, and he allowed three goals in games three and four. Adam Fox had 74 points. He was fourth in points and third in assists among all defensemen in the league. Fox had one point or more in each of the seven games in the first round. Fox has five assists in this series but has not had a point in each of the last two games.
Lightning Win Crucial Game FiveNew York struck first in game five to take a 1-0 lead but the Lightning rallied back with three unanswered goals to go on and win game five, 3-1. Mikhail Sergachev scored a goal and had an assist. Ondrej Palat and Brandon Hagel each scored a goal. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 24 out of 25 shots faced. Tampa Bay has the chance to reach their 3rd straight Stanley Cup Final with a win in game 6.
The offense was efficient for the Lightning this season. They ended the season by clicking on offense, scoring three goals or more in eight out of their last nine games. Tampa Bay finished the season ranking seventh in goals per game and 17th in shots per game. Steven Stamkos led the team with 106 points this season. He finished the season top five in points. Nikita Kucherov leads the team with 22 points in 16 playoff games. He had at least one point in three out of four games in the second round. Kucherov scored a goal and had an assist in game two, scored a goal and had two assists in game three, and scored one goal in game four of this series. He picked up an assist in game five. Tampa Bay scored two goals in each of the first two games, three goals in games three and five, and four goals in game four against the Rangers.
Defense and goaltending were both very good for Tampa Bay this season. They finished the season ranking sixth in goals against per game and seventh in shots against per game. Andrei Vasilevskiy had a record of 35-16-4 with a 2.46 GAA and .916 SV% this season. Vasilevskiy has been sharp so far in the playoffs. Vasilevskiy allowed one goal or less in five straight playoff games before game one against the Rangers, where he allowed six goals on 34 shots faced. He allowed three goals on 28 shots faced in game two of this series. Vasilevskiy was good in game three, stopping 28 out of 30 shots faced. He continued to play well in game four, allowing one goal on 35 shots faced. He allowed one goal in game five. Victor Hedman had another good season, with 85 points on the season. Hedman finished the season third in points, third in goals, and second in assists among all defensemen in the league. Hedman has 14 points in 16 playoff games and he is tied for second on the team in points in the playoffs.
- Lightning are 6-0 in their last six games at home
- Lightning are 5-2 in their last seven games when playing at home against Rangers
- Rangers are 2-5 in their last seven games when playing on the road against Tampa Bay