The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to the Stanley Cup Final. It took a Game Seven victory to get the job done and dispatch the New York Rangers, but in the end Tampa managed to quiet the Madison Square Garden crowd to take home the 2-0 victory.
Goalie Ben Bishop earned the shutout for the Lightning, who proved an irrepressible team. They’re now 5-1 in Game Sevens. Tampa’s pesky goalie has two shutouts in two Game Sevens, so there’s that.
Tampa won the game based on two third period goals, the first of which came from Alex Killorn just under two minutes into the final frame. His backhander proved to be the winner, while Ondrej Palat scored just under 10 minutes later to seal the deal.
Tampa had the slight edge in shots on goal with 25 to New York’s 22. The Rangers had half those shots in the third period, after mustering a mere five shots in the first period. Not only that, but New York couldn’t generate a shot in the last seven or so minutes of the game.
The Blueshirts had two chances on the man-advantage, but couldn’t make it happen. They did have the edge in faceoffs and hits, though, but the Lightning simply made more out of their chances.
In the end, it came down to preparation. As intimidating as the Rangers and King Henrik Lundqvist should have been, the Lightning came to play. They got down in the trenches for 20 blocked shots and made smart plays at both ends of the ice, containing New York and forcing them to commit 15 giveaways.
The Lightning proved Lundqvist’s humanity with their victory, taking on the goalie that couldn’t lose in a Game Seven situation and making sure he lost in a Game Seven situation. What’s more, the Rangers were 7-0 in Game Sevens at Madison Square Garden. Were.
Tampa now eagerly awaits the winner of the other Game Seven, which goes Saturday night as the Anaheim Ducks face off against the Chicago Blackhawks. The first game of the Stanley Cup Final will take place on Wednesday night.