It’s a 3-game series after the New York Rangers lost 4-1

It’s now a three-game series with the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning tied at two games apiece. The good news is that the Rangers have home ice advantage and are on a seven-game winning streak at home. The bad news is that the blue shirts are injured and the Lightning are taking off.

Rangers played center Ryan Strome and lost Filip Chytil in the second half to an upper body injury. Barclay Goodrow was clearly below par and Ryan Lindgren continues to struggle with his lower body injury. The playoffs are a war of attrition and the Rangers are taking their share of injuries.

Once the Lightning took a 1-0 lead just 2:38 from the start of the game, it was a tough battle for New Yorkers and they could only break the shutout with a goal up. digital and Shesterkin shot with 3:33 left. .

Artemi Panarin’s goal brought them down to two goals, but they couldn’t do much in the remaining time and Ondrej Palat sealed victory with an empty-netter.

Tampa should get a lot of credit for the way they played. Their transition play was clean, Andrei Vasilevskiy was excellent when needed, and the Lightning defense absolutely stifled the Rangers front lines.

The Rangers outscored the Lightning 35-31, but that’s a misleading stat because Tampa had a big advantage in scoring chances (34-26) and high danger chances (15-9).

Gérard Gallant said he was disappointed with his team. “They better be ready to play harder. Now it’s a two out of three and we still have home ice, but we have to be ready to play better. He explained: “We didn’t block enough shots, we didn’t finish enough hits, the good things that win you games, that’s what we have to do better…Vasilevskiy has done some good saves but he didn’t have to make good enough saves. Not as many as Shesty needed to make…we had five or six quality chances, we need to get a lot more than that.”

The players weren’t as critical. Jacob Trouba said: “We play, we create good chances. They scored some great goals. We did not capitalize on ours. I don’t think we were expecting to go in and blow the doors. It’s competitive hockey. It’s a really good team we’re up against and it’s going to be tough games…it’s the best of three in the Eastern Conference Finals and that’s something exciting as a group. We’re pretty well placed here. We’re going to go home and do what we can to win a game.

Trouba had the final say, saying, “You expect the best (the Lightning), you want the best and we want to show we can beat the best. We feel we are a rising team and we have arrived and we want to play these games.

Back home

As for the Rangers, they can’t wait to return to the friendly compound of Madison Square Garden. Gallant said: “Hopefully it will be a home run series. This is what it looks like so far. We were pretty good at our building, they’re pretty good at their building. That’s what I see so far.

He has good reason to be optimistic. Rangers have won eight straight at the Garden with their only loss in triple overtime. They outscored the opposition 38-20 and their power play is at 31% efficiency.

With the latest change, Gallant will be able to move the Zibanejad line away from the Cirelli line that shut down the Blueshirts’ top line in Tampa. He tried to mix up his lines due to injuries and, in an effort, get the attack going again. For the second half of the game, he had Mika Zibanejad and Frank Vatrano play with Artemi Panarin while Chris Kreider moved to play with Barclay Goodrow and Andrew Copp. Still, the Rangers didn’t score evenly in the two games in Tampa.

It remains to be seen whether Ryan Strome will be able to play on Thursday and how bad Chytil’s injury is. The Kid Line were impressive, dominating possession in their shifts before Chytil’s injury.

Igor Shesterkin was good but not great while Vasilevskiy is in great playoff form after a few games.

The Rangers will need Shesterkin to be at the top of his game for the Rangers even-strength offense to click if they are to return to Tampa with a 3-2 lead.

Here is a video recap of the game.