Tampa Bay Lightning

A good kicking: Rangers best Lightning for 1-0 series lead


For a while there, it looked like the Tampa Bay Lightning might steal Game 1 from the New York Rangers. Instead, the Rangers squeaked by with a “greasy goal” to win 2-1.

Officials didn’t even need an extended review of the decisive tally, as Dominic Moore’s leg was clearly stationary as it knocked in the rebound. In an afternoon where many of the bounces went the way of the Lightning and Ben Bishop, the Rangers earned that last one and a 1-0 series lead.

(Actually, there was one noteworthy empty-net post hit by Derick Brassard, but it didn’t end up making a difference.)

New York has now been in 15 consecutive one-goal playoff games, beefing up a record they set in Game 7 against the Washington Capitals.

The Rangers absolutely dominated the first 40 minutes of play. You can take your pick regarding which of the first two periods were most lopsided (probably the first?), but as you can see from this graphic, the differences between the two teams were pronounced:

This marks the first time Bishop has lost to the Rangers, yet it doesn’t end his run of strong play against New York, as he kept Tampa Bay in this game. Henrik Lundqvist was even better (a phrase that seems to be coming up quite often in these playoffs, actually).

The Bolts have a lot of work to do, as they didn’t get a lot done before the third period. One glaring adjustment may come down to benching Andrej Sustr, as his play was critiqued in many circles.

Ultimately, the Presidents’ Trophy winners looked the part on Saturday, even if they only managed another one-goal win.

Click here for more on the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Video: Ondrej Palat evens it up on the power play

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have been severely outplayed by the New York Rangers, yet it’s 1-1 as of this writing.

Simply put, the “Triplets” line of Ondrej Palat – Tyler Johnson – Nikita Kucherov is one of the hottest in the NHL in both the regular season and playoffs. You really can’t take them lightly at any time, and even when they’re well-monitored, members of that unit can still score power-play beauties like these:

There’s only so much you can do about that, right?

Video: Stepan scores another big goal


Ben Bishop kept spurning the New York Rangers as his Tampa Bay teammates were cratering in front of him, but the feeling was something had to give. It finally did with about 13 seconds remaining in the second period.

Bishop turned Stepan aside on a partial breakaway in the opening frame, but the rising forward popped in a rebound for a big 1-0 lead:

(Some have noted that Chris Kreider dislodged Bishop’s stick before the goal was scored.)

Only the blindest Lightning fan would deny that the Rangers had been taking it to Tampa Bay through the first 40 minutes. Still, it’s a manageable deficit for a regular season scoring machine to deal with, so we’ll see how things go in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

Video: Bishop shuts down Rangers in first period

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Ben Bishop was outstanding for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round. It’s early in Game 1, but he also looks sharp against the New York Rangers.

The pace has been pretty quick even if the chances haven’t been all that frequent. Bishop had to be very sharp on this chance, however, as a nice (and maybe slightly fortunate) bounce set up Derek Stepan for this partial breakaway:

Will Bishop be able to match Henrik Lundqvist all series long? That’s easier said than done, but Bishop’s off to a good start.

Update: The Rangers were spurned by Bishop, the posts and even Nikita Kucherov in the first period, which ended 0-0.

As you can see, it’s been one-sided so far:

Again, some luck has been involved for Tampa Bay:

No Brian Boyle for Lightning in Game 1

The Tampa Bay Lightning may have Ryan Callahan in the lineup, but that’s not the only surprise heading into Game 1 against the New York Rangers. Big center Brian Boyle won’t be able to play because of an undisclosed injury.

The defensive forward is considered day-to-day and will miss this first opportunity to face his former team in the conference finals.

There was some thought that perhaps he was missing Game 1 because his wife was giving birth:


It sounds like it’s an injury-related absence, however. Either way, he’s not in the mix on Saturday. Here’s what the warm-ups looked like: