Rangers/lighting game 1 recap
New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning game 1
Rangers Lightning Game 1 Recap 6/2
The New York Rangers played in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden. This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams since the 2015 Conference Finals. The Lightning came into the game entering their third consecutive Conference Finals, looking to make a push for a chance at a three-peat. The Rangers, on the other hand, are fresh out of their rebuild and haven’t made the conference finals since 2015.
Wednesday night’s Game 1 matchup went back and forth early with each team taking turns scoring. However, the scoring stopped for Tampa in the middle of the second period. The lack of rest was clearly not affecting the Rangers because the offense decided to put on a scoring clinic. The Rangers were able to score four unanswered goals to defeat the Bolts 6-2. Andrei Vasilevskiy looked like he hadn’t seen the ice in months. Definitely a rude awakening for Tampa who I can only assume thought this would be a cake walk.
The Rangers opened the scoring just a minute 11 into the first period, Mika Zibanejad faked a slap shot and dished it over to Chris Kreider for an easy one timer to get the garden bumping early. Tampa would respond later in the frame with a laser slap shot from damn near the blue line from Steven Stamkos scoring to tie it at 1 a piece. Frank Vatrano opened the scoring in the second to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead but the lead was short lived as Ondrej Palat tied it at 2. Thankfully this was the last of the scoring from Tampa for the rest of the game.
Filip Chytil had enough of the back and forth scoring and decided to put 2 in on Vasilevskiy midway though the second period. Which pretty much took the life out of Tampa right there. The Rangers were able to put more goals in on Vasilevskiy in the first two periods than the Panthers were able to all series, and unfortunately for the Lightning the scoring didn’t stop there. In the third Artemi Panarin & Mika Zibanejad both scored one each to put the dagger in the Lightning. Snatching up a game 1 victory at home in front of the MSG faithful.
This game was absolutely electric, but I fear we won’t be seeing the same lightning we did in game 1 as we will in game 2 on Friday night. But if the Rangers come out with the same intensity as they did in game 1 I don’t see Tampa winning this series. The forecheck the Rangers were able to hold on the Lightning was honestly jaw dropping. I have not seen such a performance all season. They 100% will have to play with that way every game this series but especially in game 2. A 2 game series lead will be huge. I’m sticking to my series prediction as I said in the series preview. Rangers in 6.