Lightning ties Rangers series with solid victory

by Gary Shelton on June 8, 2022

in general

Vasilevskiy was sharp once again./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 4 a.m

In New York, perhaps they should stop spreading the news.

Frankly, there is nothing more that New York Rangers fans want to hear about Andrei, Nikita and the boys.

The Tampa Bay Lighting, against the ropes and bleeding not so long ago, have tied their Eastern Conference playoff series with the Rangers. They won their second straight game at Amalie Arena, 4-1.

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Kucherov was dangerous again./TIM WIRT

Once again, the Bolts looked like a champion, riding Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Steven Stamkos to the win.

The Rangers scored only with 2:33 to play, and they were down 3-0 at the time.

“I don’t think we were really satisfied or encouraged with our effort the first two game," Stamkos said. "We knew we were going to make some adjustments. The coaching staff threw together a game plan. We needed to focus a little more.  I think we’ve gone out and executed that. The urgency has been up, obviously.

"It’s much better than the situation we were in couple of days ago, but this is where it gets down to the really tough stuff. We’ve got to go on the road and we’ve got  to win a game in their barn."

The Rays travel to Madison Square Garden for a crucial Game 5 on Thursday night.

Said coach Jon Cooper: “We’ve progressively gotten better. We took some more positive steps tonight. We just have to keep this going in New York.

Perhaps the team's sloppy play in the first two games was a result of a nine-day layoff.

"Don’t underestimate how hard it is to play in the playoffs and then take 10 days off," Cooper said. "You can’t replicate that. We’re playing a really strong Rangers team that’s coming off a couple of big emotional wins."

Pat Maroon started the scoring for the Bolts. Kucherov and Stamkos followed with goals of their own. Ondrej Palat scored the empty netter at the end.

Vasilevskiy stopped 34 of 35 shots. In his last two games, Vasilevskiy has stopped 72 of 75.

"He’s getting his mojo back," Cooper said. "If anyone was hurt by the layoff it was him. You've taken him out of his rhythm.  Now he’s got some games under his belt."

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