Rangers Force Game 7 with a 7-3 Win over Lightning

Ben Bishop, Rick Nash, Anton Stralman
The Associated Press

The New York Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3 to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Lightning actually dominated in shots on goal the majority of the game.

Derick Brassard kicked it off with a goal at 3:36. This is general a bad sign since the Rangers generally won games when they scored first and fast.

They did not score again until 15:30 to gain a 2-0 lead.

Despite the score, the Lightning pummeled goalie Henrik Lundqvist all period. It took the Rangers so long to score a second goal because the Lightning hogged the puck. Overall, they outshot the Rangers 16-7 in the period. If Lundqvist was not in top shape the Lightning could have scored four goals.

The puck finally flew past Lundqvist at 17:20.

No one scored in the second period, but there were plenty of chances. The Rangers defense decided to appear for a bit to allow their offense to shoot some pucks at goalie Ben Bishop. Both goalies remained spectacular, but the Lightning continued to lose their spark.

J.T. Miller, James Sheppard, and Brassard all scored in the third period in the first ten minutes.

The Amalie Arena was less thunderous when the Rangers went up 5-1. Jon Cooper pulled Bishop for Andrei Vasilevskiy, which provided some new life for the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov scored only 26 seconds later to make it 5-2.

But it was not enough. For the first time all game the Rangers stayed in the Lightning zone and outshot them. Rick Nash even scored a power play goal after Nikita Nesterov went off for slashing.

Kucherov scored his second goal, which showed the Lightning maintained a low heartbeat.

The goal put the game at 6-3 with six minutes left. But the Lightning just could not come back. Brassard sealed a Game 7 with his third goal of the game in the empty net.

Game 7 is Friday night in New York City at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.