In a mirror image of Game 5, the New York Rangers come up with an offensive flop and are sent golfing by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
By Robby Sabo
If there’s one inevitability of this life it is simply this: no matter how great you are at one particular thing, it’ll eventually come to an end.
Sadly, for the New York Rangers and their triumphs in Game 7’s of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it has officially now come to an end.
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Rangers by a final of 2-0. They now await the winner of the Western Conference Finals between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks for the right to play in the Stanley Cup Finals.
From the onset, the Lightning came out with the same gameplan we witnessed in Game 5. They played tight to the vest with a defensive first mindset. Not one single Ranger could actually sniff the crease where goalie Ben Bishop called home all night.
Amazingly, the game was scoreless entering the second intermission. Amazingly, due to Henrik Lundqvist.
As much as this stings for the 33-year old, Lundqvist fans can take solace in the fact that he single-handedly kept the Blueshirts in the game.
Robbing Tyler Johnson on a beautiful cross-net chance was the best stop, and in the first period he just caught a piece of a fluttering shot that hit the top of the goal.
After 40 minutes, we’re STILL scoreless! Henrik Lundqvist continues to be a brick wall to keep it 0-0 into the third. pic.twitter.com/SQzbxjIpup
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) May 30, 2015
Eventually though, the lack of scoring chances from New York and the Lightning capitalizing just 1:54 into the third period proved to be too much.
With Dominic Moore getting beat off the boards and Dan Boyle failing to clear the front of the net, Alex Killorn scored his seventh goal of the playoffs. He slid this harmless looking backhand past Lundqvist, due to the fact Boyle couldn’t keep his man from screening The King.
Then, with urgency needed at its highest, the Rangers couldn’t generate anything. The capper was the Triplets line scoring 11:17 into the final period. Ondrej Palat wristed one past hanks glove-side shoulder while all alone by the circle. Kevin Hayes was the third man, late to get back on the back-check and Tyler Johnson placed a perfect pass on the stick.
Even with Lundqvist pulled midway through the three-minute mark, the Rangers couldn’t generate any offense. Tampa Bay blocking out the Rangers and tying them up all night proved to be overwhelming.
All told, Lundqvist made 23 saves on 25 shots while Bishop stopped all 22 very easy Rangers shots on goal.
This is the first home loss in Game 7 in New York Rangers history.
After the game, head coach Alain Vigneault revealed to the media that captain Ryan McDonagh played on a broken foot for at least the last couple games.