Rangers take 2-0 ECF lead with 3-2 win over Tampa Bay Friday night

The New York Rangers took a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning following their 3-2 win at MSG on Saturday night.

The New York Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 and now hold a 2-0 series lead. Game 3 will be on Sunday in Tampa bat at 3:30 p.m.

With the win, the Rangers wiped out two huge records the Lighting had entering the game.  They were 18-0 following a playoff loss since 2020 and they had won nine consecutive Game 2’s of a series.

Igor Shesterkin has now won eight consecutive home games. The eight-game home win streak for the Rangers is the sixth-longest home playoff winning streak dating back to the Edmonton Oilers who won 11 home games consecutively in 1988.



Scoring Recap

K.Andre Miller, Kappo Kakko, and Mika Zibanejad all scored for the Blueshirts. Adam Fox had two assists giving him 17 helpers in the playoffs. Chris Kreider also had two assists including one on the game wing goal by Zibanejad.

Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov scored a power-play goal at 2:41 of the first following a controversial call by the on-ice officials that awarded the Lightning a power-play after Ryan Reaves and Pat Maroon’s altercation resulted in a minor penalty to Reaves for slashing.

Miller scored the tying goal a little over six minutes later. his initial shot was blocked, but Miller picked up the loose puck and took a shot that beat Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to the glove hand.

Kakko scored the team’s second goal off a brilliant pass from Adam Fox. A cross-ice pass threaded the needle onto Kakko’s stick for the deflected goal giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead late in the first period.

The teams would go scoreless in the second period.  Mika Zibanejad would score his 17th goal of the playoffs, which was the game-winner 1:21 into the final stanza. A fantastic shot that sailed over the blocker of the Lightning goalie.

The last time the Tampa Bay lost two consecutive playoff games was in 2019 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round,  Oddly enough Artemi Panarin was also on that team.

The Rangers are two wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals. Their last appearance was in 2014 when they lost 4-1 to the Los Angeles Kings.

Game Notes

THE KID LINE – The trio of Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, and Alexis Lafreniere once again made a contribution, with Kakko (1G) and Chytil (1A) earning points and Lafreniere posting a plus-1 rating. Lafrenière (20 YO – 2G-7A), Filip Chytil (22 YO – 7G-2A), and Kaapo Kakko (21 YO – 2G-3A) have a combined 23 points in these playoffs.

ONE STEP AHEAD – For only the second time in these playoffs, the Rangers won by one goal (Game 7 vs. PIT).

Adam Fox extended his home point streak to nine playoff games with a two-assist effort. Only two defensemen in NHL history have recorded a longer such run in a playoff year: Ray Bourque (10 GP in 1991) and Paul Coffey (10 GP in 1985). Fox recorded his fourth-straight multi-point game, surpassing Brian Leetch (1992 &1995) for the longest multi-point streak by a defenseman in Rangers playoff history. Overall, it was Fox’s sixth multi-point game of the playoffs, tying Sergei Zubov (6 in 1994) for the second-most in a single postseason by a Rangers defenseman, trailing only Brian Leetch (9 in 1994). With 22 points, Fox, as well as Zibanejad, rank third for the most points in a playoff year by a Rangers skater (Leetch – 34 in 1994, Messier – 30 in 1994).

–        Mika Zibanejad scored his ninth goal of the playoffs, extending his home goal streak to six games. Only three players in NHL history have recorded a longer such run in a playoff year: Guy Lafleur (8 GP in 1979), Paul Coffey (7 GP in 1985), and Reggie Leach (7 GP in 1976). Zibanejad has goals in six of his last seven games and points in seven-straight contests (6G-5A).



–        Igor Shesterkin won his eighth-straight playoff game at home, becoming the fifth goaltender to earn the feat since 1998 (Jonathan Quick – 2013, Marc-Andre Fleury – 2008, Chris Osgood – 2009, Martin Brodeur – 2003). Shesterkin earned his 10th career postseason win in his 17th game, requiring the fewest games in Rangers history to reach the mark among goaltenders to start their playoff career with the franchise (edging Henrik Lundqvist: 18 GP). Shesterkin has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his last nine games and has won six of his last seven games. Since Game 5 against Pittsburgh in the First Round, Shesterkin has posted a 9-3 record with a .939 save percentage and 2.08 goals-against average.

–        Chris Kreider tallied two assists boosting his career total to 53 points, the fifth most in Rangers playoff history. Kreider has accumulated points in four-straight contests (3G-2A). Tonight, Kreider tied Ryan McDonagh for the fourth-most games played (96) in New York postseason history.

–        Filip Chytil registered an assist, giving him points in four-straight contests (5G-1A).

–        Frank Vatrano collected an assist, earning a point for a third-straight game (1G-3A). Vatrano has four goals and seven assists for 11 points in the postseason. Since joining the Rangers on March 17, Vatrano has accumulated 24 points (12G-12A) in 38 games.

–        Kaapo Kakko scored his second goal of the playoffs, giving him points in three-straight games (1G-2A). In his last four games, Kakko has been a plus-6 rating.

–        K’Andre Miller netted his second goal in these playoffs, tying the game at 1-1. Miller also had points in three-straight contests (1G-2A). Rangers defensemen have accumulated 42 points in the postseason, the second-most in the NHL behind Colorado (47). via NYR PR