LIGHTNING 4 – RANGERS 1
And just like that we got a whole new series.
After blowing their chance to go up three games to none in Game 3, the Rangers had virtually no answer for Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, falling 4-1 to even up the series at two and two. All of sudden the series comes down to a best of three between the Rangers and the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions.
“These next couple of games, we have to go on the road and we have to find a way to win a game in their barn,” Lightning Captain Steve Stamkos said. “We’re looking forward to that challenge, but I really like where our game is now compared to where it was a couple days ago.”
Where the Lightning are now is truly different than it was a couple days ago. A couple days ago the Rangers were riding a 2-0 series lead. There was a sense this was a team of destiny. And that might still be the case, but they will have to figure out a way to rally at the Garden on Thursday and pull out a victory against a good Tampa Bay team.
A little less than three minutes into the game Tampa was on the board. Defenseman Zach Bogosian had a clear shot at the net from the circle, and has he moved closer to Rangers goal Igor Shesterkin, he felt the Rangers defense tightening and tossed the puck over to Pat Maroon who crushed the puck past Shesterkin for the games first goal.
Later in the game, Nikita Kucherov took a direct shot at Shesterkin and whizzed the puck past him for a 2-0 Tampa Bay lead. Finally in the third period Steve Stamkos took a pass and tucked the puck around the corner of the net for the third goal of the game.
The Rangers would get a goal back on Artemi Panarin’s sixth goal of this postseason, but it was not enough to hold back the Lightning for a Game 4 victory.
Now the team teams head back to New York with the series deadlock at two and two. Game 5 is Thursday at 8 p.m. from Madison Square Garden.