So much for first period of New York Rangers – Tampa Bay Lightning being the wildest twenty minutes we’ve seen in some time.
The middle frame has been every bit as wild, although the two teams traded some violence for even more end-to-end action. It’s the kind of hockey where huge saves by both goalies (especially Henrik Lundqvist’s high-difficulty glove save on Steven Stamkos) get lost in the shuffle.
In a little more than seven minutes, there was a four-goal outburst, with three coming from the Bolts. We enter the final stretch with Tampa Bay up 4-3 thanks in large part to great work from Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman.
Johnson first set up Palat:
Palat then returned to the favor, although Hedman created havoc as well:
Lundqvist has been turning away quite a few Alex Killorn chances, but Steven Stamkos’ running mate finally got one through for a short-lived 4-2 lead:
It didn’t last long, as people brought out their rapid puns thanks to this Jesper Fast goal, his second tally of the night:
Ultimately the Lightning can earn a 2-1 series lead if they can maintain their lead in the final frame. That might mean scoring a goal or two, though, as this game has been a serious track meet.