New York Rangers Take 2-0 Series Lead Into Tampa Bay

The New York Rangers are a wagon. Tonight, the Rangers, with their 3-2 win in Game 2 snapped a legendary streak held by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning had not lost back-to-back playoff games in 17 games – since 2019 – and tonight the young gun Rangers broke that streak.

When the game started, it seemed like the Lightning might have had a chance to take control of the game. Nikita Kucherov scored an early power-play goal just 2:41 into the game. But there is one thing this Rangers team is and that’s resilient. K’Andre Miller got things back even with a goal just 3 minutes later:

The Rangers kept on the heat and were able to pull another goal out by the end of the period, this time from Kaapo Kakko:

Into the second period, no goals were scored but that’s not for a lack of trying. The Lightning put up 10 shots in that period but Igor Shesterkin stood tall and stopped them all. The Rangers’ offense went on the other side and put up 14 shots of their own yet nothing could get through.

After intermission, it didn’t take long for the Rangers to get things back and cookin’. Mika Zibanejad scored his 9th goal of the playoffs just 1:21 into the final frame:

Despite being peppered with shots, the only time the Lightning could get one back was in the last 3 minutes of the game when Nicholas Paul scored. The Lightning got close to tying this game a time or two but thank the Hockey Gods for Jacob Trouba who was blocking shots like he was in net. The Rangers pulled this one out and won 3-2, putting themselves in a strong 2-0 lead in this Eastern Conference Final.

Like I said earlier, this Rangers team is just resilient. They don’t get too high or too low, they don’t hold on to past mistakes, they just go out there every night and play their game. Shesterkin had another great game, he stopped 29 of 31 shots on net tonight alone. He had some great help from Trouba who registered 6 blocked shots – only two other Rangers blocked more than one shot and that was K’Andre Miller and Ryan Strome who had 2 a piece. Artemi Panarin wasn’t on the score sheet tonight but he had 5 shots on net so I expect him to grab one next game. The Rangers will now head down to Tampa Bay to play the next two games. I’m hoping they’re able to pull out a win in either, if they can do it in Game 3 then I think they’ll be able to come out and win this series. Paying on the road is tough and if they can master that and do it early, then I have no worries.

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Featured Image:  New York Rangers Twitter

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