Rangers in a familiar spot
Rangers in a familiar spot: New York Rangers Rangers Lightning Hockey Center Mika Zibanejad (93) slips as Tampa Bay Lightning members celebrate Ondrej Palat’s goal for the third time in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference final on Tuesday, The New The York Rangers have been in a similar situation in recent seasons – wanting to regain momentum at home after dropping two games on the road.
In the first round against Pittsburgh, they returned home after falling to a 3-1 series win and winning three in a row. In the second round, they lost 2-0 and won four of the next five to advance.
They are now back in New York with a 2-2 draw with two-time defending Stanley Cup champion, Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference final, hoping to change the situation in Game 5 on Thursday night (8 p.m. EDT, ESPN) at Madison Square Garden. . Two of the last three games will be at home, with eight wins in a row.
“I think we’re in the best position we’ve ever been in three series,” striker Andrew Copp said on Wednesday. “We have two games at home. The Rangers will be looking to recover from a charge that seemed to roll over in the first two games as they thrashed 9-4. They were knocked out 7-3 in two games in Tampa.
Tuesday night New York led 2-0 in the middle of Game 3 before Tampa Bay scored three goals to win. Lightning then shut out the Rangers on the points board until the end of the third period when they won 4-1 in Game 4 which made the match even more.
“They also didn’t create a lot of scoring chances, but they didn’t make mistakes and I think that’s from the experience of the winning teams. They don’t give up hope and that’s how you win Stanley’s trophies. ”
The Rangers did not give up on their loss on the road, where they played 2-7 this season. They also know what they need to improve on from the last two games – physical play and do a better job of finding inside the chances to beat Andrei Vasilevskiy.
They expect to be promoted by playing at home, where they have not lost since entering three overtimes in Game 1 in the first round against Pittsburgh.
“It’s the best of the three in the Eastern Conference finals and it’s something we have to enjoy as a team,” said defender Jacob Trouba. “We are in a very good position here and we will return home to do what we are doing. I can win the game.”
Lightning will be looking to improve the momentum it created at home after showing signs of rust at the start of the series following a nine-day layoff after completing a second-round sweep in Florida. Tampa Bay had won six in a row before dropping their first two games against the Rangers.
Lightning switched on the series by tightening defensively, blocking New York’s passing lanes, and forcing many Ranger shots out. When they approached a few times, Vasilevskiy was there to close the door.
“We’ve been looking forward to the last few games,” said Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. “All we knew how important it was to get back to this series, and we did. But we can’t sit on our hands right now and be happy about that. We must continue to move forward. … I’m sure now that depression will take over. ”
Playing at an extra level of urgency, Tampa Bay – who has won a series of 10 playoffs in the last three postseasons – has also been heavily targeted to stay out of the penalty box. The rangers, who played very well in the league after the season, had only two chances in Game 4.
“They have different powers, so I spoke to Captain Obvious,” Cooper said. “If you keep them from playing with energy, it will probably help your game, and you were really right.”
Gallant knows that returning home will not be enough. Rangers will have to upgrade to Game 5, and may not have two injured clubs – Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil.
Strome missed Game 4 with a minor injury in the previous game. He slipped into pre-match warmups but never played. Chytil left the game Tuesday night just past midfield in the second half after being struck by Electric defender Victor Hedman. He missed the whole game due to a physical injury.
“It’s going to be a war,” the coach said. “I mean we are playing against a team that has a lot of experience over the last three years and you know you can’t give it to us. We have to go out and get it and that is what we have to do. ”