Rangers/lighting game 2 recap
New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning game 2
Rangers Lightning Game 2 Recap 6/4
The Rangers continue their streak ending playoff run with another big win Friday night at MSG. Going into Friday night’s match up the Tampa Bay Lightning were 18-0 in the playoffs following a loss. But that all came to an end when the Rangers defeated the Lightning 3-2. With that loss it is the first time in the last 11 playoff series that the Lightning have lost back to back playoff games. The Bolts have dug themselves quite the hole but will be heading back to Tampa for game 3 on Sunday. Let’s dive into Game 2.
Two and a half minutes into the game Rangers’ forward Ryan Reaves was given a bullshit penalty for slashing Pat Maroon giving the Lightning an early power play. The players were jostling in the faceoff circle and personally I didn’t think any penalty should have been awarded, but if penalties were to be given they should have gone both ways. I think because of the tempers flaring at the end of Game 1 the officials wanted to send a message early and Reaves was simply the victim of it.
Ten seconds into the Reaves slashing penalty, Nikita Kucherov scored on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that deflected off Ryan Lindgren’s stick, beating Shesterkin glove side, and for the first time this series the Lightning were up. The Rangers struggled early holding any form of offensive possession, but once the lightning scored the switch flipped. The blue shirts were hungry for a goal and it came quickly. K’Andre Miller fired a quick wrist shot that was initially blocked by Brandon Hagel, causing the puck to come right back to K’Andre Miller’s stick who stuck it past Vasilevskiy tying the game at 1 a piece. Later in the first the scoring continued for the Rangers when Adam Fox sent a beautiful cross-seam pass right to Kaapo Kakko giving him the chance to deflect the puck in over Vasilevskiy.
The Rangers came out dominant in the second period. Controlling offensive possession & generating plenty of shots. It honestly looked like the Lightning were completely lost out there on the ice. The kid line continued to give the Lightning problems, which by the way is insane of me to be typing out. A line full of players aged 22 and younger were out there giving the back to back Stanley Cup Champions problems, fucking mind blowing. Vasilevskiy was barely able to fight off the puck, almost allowing one shot to trickle in if it wasn’t for Corey Perry diving into the crease and swatting the puck away from the goal line.
In the third the Lightning came out fast controlling the puck in the Rangers defensive zone & were able to throw a couple shots Igor’s way. Unfortunately the Lightning’s dominant play only lasted for that first shift and a poor clearing attempt by Kucherov allowed New York to re-enter the Lightning zone quickly giving Mika Zibanajad a golden opportunity to rip a quick shot past Vasilevskiy’s blocker to make the score 3-1. The rest of the game was full on desperation mode for the Tampa Bay Lightning which ultimately paid off once Vasilevskiy was pulled with two fifteen remaining in the third, where Nick Paul was able to sneak one past Igor Shesterkin. With a little bit of life on the Lightning bench it wouldn’t be enough to hold off the Rangers from taking that beautiful 2-0 series lead, giving the Lightning their first back to back playoff loss in over 11 playoff series.
The Rangers played a gritty dominant game, if they are able to keep this intensity up this team might be having a parade in New York later this month that I fully intend on attending. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. Game 3 will be played on the road in Tampa Bay at 3:00pm on Sunday. If the Rangers are able to steal game 3 on the road, boy oh boy I’ll have to go get my broom! My series prediction will stay the same until I see how these Rangers hold it down in Tampa. Until next time Rangers in 6.