The Lightning takes an option

Thursday, June 9, it was in a Madison Square Garden of the big nights that game 5 of the Eastern Conference final took place between the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The key, a victory that would allow a team like any other to lead 3-2 in the series and therefore a potential significant advantage to reach the Stanley Cup final.

Prior to the meeting, the New York supporters proved that they really had the role of 7th man. Evidenced by this sequence with Jimmy Fallon, or even the celebration in unison of Adam Fox in the ninth minute, author of a point in each meeting at MSG in the playoffs this year, and fan of the Rangers since his early childhood…

Energetic, incisive, the Rangers are off to a good start. A few seconds after the ovation for Fox, Lafrenière, Kakko and Chytil perform a triangle action and Chytil is on the verge of sending the puck into Vasilevskiy’s net, but the Czech does not succeed.

Discreet at the start of the match, the Lighthing hooked the post for the second time – Kucherov was the first at the start of the match – with a shot from Nick Paul, from the center of the offensive zone. Despite the influx of shots coming from the New York attack, Vasilevskiy held on and avoided sinking in the first period. The Tampa Bay goalkeeper stopped eight shots when his colleague on the opposite team had to stop only three.

At the start of the second period, the game is physical, but Ondrej Palat still gives Tampa Bay the opportunity to show that it is far from harmless, on a shot that ends up in the mitt of Shesterkin. Braden Schneider hooks Palat while the latter is close to the enclave. This gives a numerical superiority to Jon Cooper’s team which will not be serious, even if the Lightning seem to have regained a spark of play. Then it is New York’s turn to benefit from a powerplay for a surplus, also without hit.

The opener came a little later, as Tampa’s Zach Bogosian deflected the puck into the defensive zone on the boards, puck recovered by Ryan Lindgren on the left side. Although the shooting angle is more than restricted. He took his chance and scored (1-0, 30’29 »). The second-round pick of the 2016 Draft (chosen in 49e position by Boston) scored his second goal in the playoffs. However, the locals did not have the opportunity to return to the locker room in the lead, then defender Mikhail Sergachev equalized at the end of the period, thus ending a series of 39 goalless games in the play-offs (1-1, 37 ‘ 34 »). Tampa is back at the right time in this game.

In such a tight game, during the playoffs moreover, going ahead in scoring is very important in the third period. It will however have to wait a long time to do this, then the decision comes in the last minutes. With player bodies straining, Tampa Bay put the game down and allowed Ondrej Palat to put his name on the series scoreboard yet again thanks to assists from Mikhail Sergachev and Victor Hedman (1-2, 58’10 »).

In a “last chance” attempt, the Rangers will withdraw their goalkeeper, but this will be in vain. Brandon Hagel then finds himself alone in front of an empty net, to close the table (1-3, 59’01 »). Victory of Tampa Bay on the outside, the Lightning thus takes a serious option on the Stanley Cup final, to perhaps achieve a three peat of anthology.

One incident to note, however: the game ends in a fight between several players on the ice. Also outside the rink, incidents were filmed, including a video of a Rangers fan punching a Lightning fan who collapses to the ground. The author was arrested and two counts were brought against him.

(An article by Thomas Woloch)

Post-match comments :

Gerard Gallant (New York Rangers coach): It’s a tough night, no doubt. But tomorrow we get on the plane and we’ll be ready to play in Tampa Bay. It will be a battle. They are a good hockey team. That’s why they’re Stanley Cup champions. We have to go out there and play our best game and win to give ourselves a chance to play a Game 7 at home. »

Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning player): We didn’t like our first two games, that’s for sure. We played in an unusual way, sloppy hockey… (…) We must be able to win these matches. We found the recipe (Editor’s note: on this match) (…) Our group can certainly count on our experience. »

New York Rangers – Tampa Bay Lightning 1-3 (0-0, 1-1, 0-2)
Thursday, June 9, 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York. 18,006 spectators.
Penalties: New York 13′ (0′, 2’+2′, 2’+5′), Tampa Bay 9′ (0′, 2′, 2′+5′).
Shots: New York 25 (8, 8, 9) Tampa Bay 27 (3, 13, 11).

Score evolution:
1-0 at 30’29″: Lindgren
1-1 at 37’34″: Sergachev
1-2 at 58’10″: Palat assisted by Sergachev and Hedman
1-3 at 59’01″: Hagel assisted by Kucherov

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Frank Vatrano
Artemi Panarin – Ryan Strome – Andrew Copp
Alexis Lafrenière – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
Tyler Motte – Kevin Rooney – Barclay Goodrow

Ryan Lindgren- Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Justin Braun – Braden Schneider

Guardian :
Igor Shesterkin

Substitute: Aleksandar Georgiev (G). Absent: Samuel Blais (knee), Jarred Tinordi, Zac Jones, Patrik Nemeth, Greg McKegg, Julien Gauthier, Libor Hajek, Tim Gettinger, Nils Lundkvist, Dryden Hunt, Ryan Reaves, Jonny Brodzinski, Keith Kinkaid (L, injured).

Tampa Bay Lightning

Ondrej Palat – Steven Stamkos – Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel – Anthony Cirelli – Alex Killorn
Ross Colton – Nick Paul – Corey Perry
Pat Maroon – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Riley Nash

Victor Hedman – Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh – Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev – Zach Bogosian

Guardian :
Andrei Vasilevskiy

Substitute: Brian Elliott (G). Out: Brayden Point (right leg), Fredrik Claesson, Alex Barré-Boulet, Remi Elie, Darren Raddysh, Cole Koepke, Cal Foote, Anthony Richard, Maxime Lagacé, Hugo Alnefelt.

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