The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead after playing the first two games at home. In Tampa, it was a different game out there. The last four days down there will be forgotten.
The Rangers dropped games 3 and 4 to the Lighting but have confidence because they will be home for Game 5. They have not lost at home since the first round losing in Game 1 to Pittsburgh. Since then eight consecutive wins at home.
The Rangers did get hit with some injuries while down there. Center Ryan Strome was injured in Game 3 with a lower-body injury and center Filip Chytil was injured in Game 4. Both will be a game-time decision coach Gerald Gallant said.
The Rangers have been great at home this postseason they are 8-0 since that one lost and has a plus-19 goal differential. They average 4.38 goals per game. They are also 3-0 in home games following a road loss. There is a lot of confidence in the Rangers.
In the past two series, the Rangers have found themselves down. They were down 3-1 to Pittsburgh and were down 2-0 to Carolina before coming back and winning in seven games.
“We’re probably in the best spot we’ve been through the first three series. We’ve got two games at home,” Rangers forward Andrew Copp said.
The way the Rangers played in Game 4 against the Lighting was the same way they played against Carolina in Game 5. Coach Gallant said they looked “tired” against Carolina not fast enough or strong enough. Same thing with the Lighting in Game 4 he didn’t say they were tired but was not happy with their play.
The way the Rangers play at home they have to do it away too. The Thursday game is at Madison Square Garden where the Rangers seem to be unstoppable. They have to be more aggressive and want it more. Lighting has been here before they won two Stanley Cup titles back to back and are looking for a third. The Rangers have to play with a great level of desperation from here on out.