Rangers Eliminated By Lightning In Dramatic Game 7
A hyped up New York Rangers crowd couldn’t rally their team to score as the Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Rangers 2-0, moving them into title contention where they’ll face either the Ducks or Blackhawks.
Henrik Lundqvist, whose goaltending had been clutch when needed, couldn’t hold off the hungry Lightning scorers any longer than two periods. With 1:54 lapsed in the third, an Alex Killhorn backhand floater slid between heavy zone traffic and between Lundqvist’s legs, inevitably all the Lightning would need to put away the Rangers. The big-hearted goalie stopped four of six third-period shots, but it was the Killhorn goal that rattled Lundqvist enough to allow another easy save into his net at the 11:17 mark. Overall, a completely different Rangers team showed up Friday night – definitely not the hungry Rangers bunch that trounced Tampa Bay 7-3.
The New York Rangers kept their fans, their season, and scoring chances alive thanks to some aggressive checks and magnificent net minding, and it seemed both teams were vying for an OT finish to an otherwise successful season both franchises needed. Although the Rangers shot more aggressively in Game 6, both teams mustered only 47 shots combined for the game, but it only took two Tampa Bay slaps to put away Rangers hopes of returning to the glory years.
Rangers and Lightning managed to play 60:00 with only one hooking penalty (Rangers) and one bench infraction (Rangers). Ben Bishop stopped 22 Rangers shots Friday night while assisting on Ondrej Palat’s goal, the second time in two games Bishop was credited with an assist. Apart from a few close calls and plenty of blood, sweat, and tears filling up Madison Square Garden, the game was relatively action-free. To add insult to history, the final results have some nostalgia behind them: Tampa Bay, from start of 2015 playoffs to Cup finals, eliminated three of six teams which made up the Original Six: Rangers, Canadiens, and Red Wings.
While the Rangers and their fans will forever embellish their 1994 Stanley Cup victory, this season will go down as the one that slipped away. Tampa Bay moves on to their second shot at Lord Stanley’s grand prize, having taken the Cup in seven games against Calgary in 2004. On the season, Tampa Bay is 1-0-1 against Chicago; 2-0 against Anaheim. Western Conference Game 7 is scheduled for tonight on NBC; check your local listings for time.
Catch full coverage of the Ducks-Hawks and all the Stanley Cup game results here at the Inquisitr Sports.
[Photo by Elsa/Getty Images Sport]