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Home Cooking: Lightning Win Game 3 With Last-Minute Goal

(Photo via twitter/TBLightning)

By Michael Wax

2022 Playoffs: The Tampa Bay Lightning scored a last-minute goal to take game three of the Eastern Conference Final series versus the New York Rangers 3-2. Tampa still trails the series 2-1.

Game Summary

1st Period

With their backs against the wall, the Lightning made a pretty significant lineup change heading into game three. Riley Nash came in for Cal Foote, and the Lightning went back to the 12 forward, six defensemen alignment for the first time since game seven against the Leafs.

Game three, start to finish, was Tampa's best game since game three against Florida. Though no goals were scored in the first, the Lightning dictated the majority of play and took over the shot counter early. Igor Shesterkin once again came to play for the Rangers, and Vasilevskiy matched him save for save early on.

2nd Period

The Lightning started the second period with the same energy they had in the first. As the Lightning were putting together their 4-on-3 power play after an interference call on Zibanejad, Corey Perry went up high with his stick into the mask of Shesterkin. Shesterkin sold it to a solid degree, giving the Rangers a long power play after a brief 3-on-3. On that 4-on-3, Zibanejad fired home a one-timer by the blocker of Vasilevskiy to make it 1-0 New York.

Nw York got another power play just over 90 seconds later, as Riley Nash hit Shesterkin and went to the box for goalie interference. With the Rangers attempting to test Vasilevskiy's blocker side over and over again, Chris Kreider found a rebound on a Zibanejad one-timer and beat both McDonagh and Vasilevskiy to the puck to double New York's lead.

25 seconds after the Kreider goal, the Lightning got their own opportunity on the power play. Hedman, Stamkos, and Kucherov did a great job of cycling the puck around the outside, and Kucherov slid a puck underneath the pad of Shesterkin to cut the lead in half.

3rd Period

The Lightning got off to a quick start in tying the game, going back on the power play just 37 seconds in. Corey Perry swooped around the back of the net and fired a pass right into the waiting arms of Stamkos, whose one-timer went over the shoulder of Shesterkin and tied the game.

Before the big moment in the game, the Lightning were tasked with killing off the biggest penalty of the year when Kucherov's high-stick on Zibanejad drew blood and resulted in a double-minor. Thanks to Nick Paul and Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning kept the game tied and continued to push. With under a minute to play, all five members of the Lightning touched the puck, starting with a Stamkos wrist shot on net. After Erik Cernak collected the rebound, Hedman fired a pass to Kucherov, whose slick backhand feed went right onto the stick of Ondrej Palat, who buried the puck to give the Lightning the late lead with his tenth career playoff game-winning goal.

Game Stats

Our Three Stars

1. Palat (TBL): Game-winning goal

2. Vasilevskiy (TBL): 28 Saves on 30 Shots

3. Kucherov (TBL): 1 Goal, 2 Assists

Media's Three Stars

1. Palat (TBL): 2 Goals

2. Vasilevskiy (TBL): 28 Saves on 30 Shots

3. Stamkos (TBL): 1 Goal, 1 Assist

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