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Lightning Tie Series with 4-1 Win, Set Up Crucial Game 5 Back in New York

Photo via twitter/TBLightning)

By Michael Wax

2022 Playoffs: The Tampa Bay Lightning tied their Eastern Conference Finals series against the New York Rangers with a 4-1 win in game four.

Game Summary

1st Period

The Lightning once again went with a 12 forward, six defenseman format, even with a pregame question mark over Mikhail Sergachev. The Grumpy Old Men line got the Lightning started early, with Zach Bogosian busting out the fantastic stick handling. As the veteran defensive swooped into the zone, he stick handled around Justin Braun and fired a backhander that was stopped by Shesterkin. Pat Maroon, who was driving the net, lightly tapped the a backhander over the blocker of Shesterkin and into the net for an early 1-0 Lightning lead.

Though the Rangers led in shots on goal after20 minutes, the Lightning seemed like the team carrying the play. Many of the Rangers chances were one-and-done, and the Lightning put together some solid offensive zone time.

2nd Period

By all accounts, the second period was the Lightning's worst of the night. They were outshot 12-7, had a difficult time generating offensive zone time, and had a few turnovers that led to big-time chances for the Rangers. Yet, with Andrei Vasilevskiy standing tall, they outscored the Rangers 1-0 in the middle frame. After a brief shift of offensive zone pressure by the Palat-Stamkos-Kucherov line, Palat fed a pass to Kucherov who had beaten 3 Rangers. Kucherov didn't get everything on his shot but snuck it through the five-hole of Shesterkin for a 2-0 lead.

3rd Period

Even with a two goal lead, the Lightning began the third period with sustained offensive pressure. The first line once again went to work, starting with a keep-in at the blue line by Jan Rutta. Palat was the recipient of his pass, and did a tremendous job of shielding off Mika Zibanejad on the wall. Palat then fired a shot from the top of the right circle, which was stopped, before Stamkos fired it home from the bottom of the right circle for a 3-0 lead.

With a power play and the goalie pulled, the Rangers made it 3-1 off some chaos in front of the net and a shot from Panarin. With the goalie pulled again, Ondrej Palat capped off an incredible night with an empty net goal to tie the series.

Game Five at MSG looms large, here are our final thoughts.

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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