Author: Cam Tucker

cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptkxndu0yzrjnwjiyzm0yjhiyjcxngvmnzk4yjq2n2uw1

Video: Killorn opens scoring, gives Bolts the lead in Game 7

The Tampa Bay Lightning struck first in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, with Alex Killorn scoring 1:54 into the third period to briefly silence the crowd at Madison Square Garden.

That’s Killorn’s seventh goal of the post-season.

The Lightning and New York Rangers were both unable to get on the board through two periods.

The ‘freak’ Duncan Keith is having ‘a heck of a playoff’

5 Comments

In case you weren’t aware, Duncan Keith is putting together another impressive post-season. It’s a combination of things, from the heavy minutes he logs, to incredible puck possession numbers, to the points.

It’s missing one thing: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

That has yet to be determined, and will be, one way or another, on Saturday in Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks.

Keith, 31, leads all NHL players in ice time this post-season, at 31:49 minutes per game. Sure, the Blackhawks have had several marathon overtime games, but Keith, described this spring as a “freak,” has never deteriorated, even with Chicago essentially leaning on four defensemen and playing their No. 5 and 6 blue liners sparingly.

His puck possession numbers are strong, at 56.4 per cent at even strength in the playoffs, according to war-on-ice.com. And he’s rolling along with 16 points in 16 games. His endurance has been something to marvel at, especially now, at this stage in the playoffs.

On Friday, Keith was asked about this ability.

Q: At what point when you were a kid did you know you had good aerobic endurance?

Keith: I don’t know. I just liked to play. When I was a kid we had a lot of outdoor rinks where I grew up. I didn’t really pay attention to my lung capacity. I was eight years old.

Yeah, I don’t really know what to say. I think I’ve always just enjoyed the game. It’s my passion, just like everybody else here in the NHL. I think over the years just working, working hard at it has helped develop certain things.

Head coach Joel Quenneville told reporters there have been seasons when they’ve tried to reduce Keith’s playing time by a few minutes, but they haven’t had the luxury of doing that in certain situations.

“And we find the more he gets, the more he keeps doing it,” said Quenneville. “He’s been great for us. He’s having a heck of a playoff as well.”

Mystery surrounds Rangers’ captain McDonagh after first period (Updated)

2 Comments

New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh didn’t take his first shift of Game 7 until almost 13 minutes had already ticked off the clock.

It will be interesting to hear an explanation following the game as to why this was the case.

McDonagh was seen on the Rangers bench during the national anthem, but he went to the dressing room with head athletic trainer Jim Ramsay, according to Dan Rosen of NHL.com. He later emerged from the locker room before playing a 53-second shift that started at the 12:41 mark of the opening period.

He played only three shifts in the first 20 minutes, so that’s a development to keep an eye on for the remainder of the game.

The Rangers decided to go with seven defensemen, putting Matt Hunwick into the lineup, despite having not played since April 24.

In Game 6 of the series, McDonagh was on the receiving end of a heavy Steven Stamkos hit into the boards.

Updated: McDonagh played 12 shifts in the second period, for a total of 8:23 of ice time.

Paquette enters back into Lightning lineup for Game 7

Cedric Paquette is back in the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers, as per Bryan Burns of the Lightning website.

Paquette didn’t play Game 6, after leaving early in the fifth game of this series following a blocked shot.

Meanwhile, the Rangers also made one lineup change. Defenseman Matt Hunwick will play, while James Sheppard has been scratched, as per Dan Rosen of NHL.com.

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Rangers, Eastern Conference Final Game 7

8 Comments

It’s Game 7 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden tonight (8 p.m. ET), with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Final. Do the Rangers have more Game 7 magic in them, or can the Lightning overcome a loss in Game 6 to clinch a spot in the championship series for the first time in 11 years?

You can watch the game on NBCSN or online via the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some links for you to check out for tonight’s game:

Your Lightning-Rangers Game 7 officials are…

PHT Morning Skate: Lightning put on their version of ‘Blades of Steel’

Bolts shrug off talk of Madison Square Garden ‘mystique’

(Video) PHT Extra: Health, not history, should be Lightning’s major concern