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Rust Beats Rest - Lightning Lose 6-2 in Game One of ECF

(Photo via ABCActionNews)

By Michael Wax

2022 Playoffs: The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the New York Rangers 6-2 in game one, falling to a 1-0 series deficit in the the Eastern Conference Finals.

Game Summary

1st Period

After eight days off, the Lightning were tasked with starting the series on a high note at the legendary Madison Square Garden. The Rangers got started early, as Chris Kreider scored less than 90 seconds in to give New York the lead. This goal was set up due to a bad pinch by Ryan McDonagh at the offensive blue line and Zach Bogosian leaving his man to double team Zibanejad, who passed it to a wide-open Kreider. After the slow start, the lightning really picked up the pace in their game, generating numerous office of zone scoring threats. After several opportunities, in which Rangers’ goalie Igor Shesterkin made some fantastic saves, Steven Stamkos powered a one-timer over the blocker and just under the crossbar to tie the game.

2nd Period The middle frame was certainly a tale of two halves. The Rangers got on the board first on a wrist shot from the high slot from Frank Vatrano, a goal that Vasilevskiy should normally save with no traffic in front. The Lightning’s second line went right to work afterwards to tie the game, as Ondrej Palat beat Shesterkin on a rebound opportunity after the initial Stamkos shot was stopped.

That’s weird things begin to fall apart for the Lightning. To the Rangers credit, they began to push the pace after the Palat goal and sustained multiple offenses zone shifts of 90 seconds or more. On their 3-2 goal, Filip Chytil was left all alone in front to one-time a shot home. On the 4-2 goal, the Lightning’s second line and Sergachev-Foote pairing failed to clear the puck multiple times, leading to a one-timer from the right circle by Chytil to make it a 4-2 game. 3rd Period In a period where the Lightning needed an early spark, they immediately surrendered the fifth goal of the game to the Rangers off another giveaway and odd-man rush. The Lightning’s third period was much like the back half of the second. Even though the numbers were in favor of the Lightning, they didn’t generate nearly as many high-danger chances as they did at the beginning of the game. Zibanejad made it 6-2 with a power play goal just over six minutes into the period, and the Lightning squandered an opportunity to take an early series lead.

Game Stats

Our Three Stars

1. Chytil (NYR): 2 Goals

2. Shesterkin (NYR): 37 Saves on 39 Shots

3. Lafrenière (NYR): 2 Assists

Media's Three Stars

1. Chytil (NYR): 2 Goals

2. Vatrano (NYR): 1 Goal, 1 Assist

3. Zibanejad (NYR): 1 Goal, 1 Assist

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