Rangers Cut Off the Power on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One

Going in, it figured to a difficult task for the Rangers. They were facing the high-powered offense from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts had the most goals scored in the NHL 2015 Regular season.

Beyond that fact, the Rangers had never beaten the Bolts Benjamin Bishop – a massive 6’7” goalie. In fact Bishop had held the Ranger to a Goals Against average of less than 1 and half goals per game . The actual figure was 1.47.

That’s going in.

But soon enough, actually nearing the end of the second period in what had been an energetic yet scoreless game, the Derek Stepan caravan rolled on. At 19:47 of the second period, Stepan put in a rebound, and the 0-0 game became 1-0 as the period closed.

This shot was a mirror image of Stepan’s 2nd Round, game and series winner in overtime three days ago. Eerily the same shot.

The only difference was that Stepan, with his arms raised above his head after he had scored, skated toward the opposite side of the Tampa Bay Lightning nets.

When his overtime goal went in to defeat the Capitals he headed to his left. This time it was to the right.

Woo-hoo.

However taking the lead is only the first step toward victory. As expected, The Lightning with its high-powered offense did manage to tie the score. It was a power play goal by Lightning’s Ondrej Palat at 6:45.

Now that the game was tied in the 3rd period, everything is magnified in importance. Every bounce of the puck, or every swing of a stick become crucial. The Rangers incurred two minor penalties after Palat’s tying goal.

Ryan McDonough was sent off for a high stick, and with under five minutes remaining in regulation time, Ranger Chris Kreider got himself a two-minute minor for holding an opponents stick. The penalty was at 15:05.

The Rangers were able to withstand the Lightning’s attempts to score on both power plays. Half a minute after Kreider’s penalty time had ended, the Rangers put on a strong push led by Derick Brassard and Kevin Hayes.

At 17:35, Dominick Moore found himself in the paint in front of Lightning goalie Benjamin Bishop,

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Rangers Skate On!

What a difference a week makes. Last Wednesday, the New York Rangers had lost to the Washington Capitals by a 2-1 score. The score itself is less important that the fact that at this point, the Rangers trailed the Caps 1-3 in games won. In short, the Rangers were on the brink of elimination as this was a best of seven series.

But maybe the Rangers needed a blade positioned over their necks to really get their survival instincts running. Or they needed to be standing on the edge of the abyss with a pair of hands on their backs to get the urgency before them.

The next game, a win or go home for the summer, was scheduled for Friday May 8th, at MSG. Here is the New York Post back cover the next day.

Okay, the series was now 3 games to 2 with Washington ahead, and Game Six would be in the Caps’ building on Sunday.

Here is the New York Post back cover on Monday morning.

The Series is now even!

Game Seven was scheduled for Wednesday May 13th in New York. Last night. The losers would begin their summer vacations right after the game ended. The Caps best player, Alexander Ovechkin had guaranteed that the Caps would not lose. At 12:50 into the 1st period, Ovechkin was able to put one past Ranger goalie Lundqvist from the slot, and the Caps surged into a 1-0 lead.

Kevin Hayes of the Rangers would tie the game at 1-1 in the second period.

For the next 42 minutes – which meant 8+ minutes into the overtime, both times played extremely hard. There were plenty of chances but both goalies were resolute and yes, it must be said – heroic..

Until Ranger Derek Stepan slapped a rebound past Caps goalie Holtby. In that instant, Ovechnik’s guarantee crumbled into history, and all he could do was skate into his summer vacation.

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Kings Win The Cup

It wasn’t supposed to end the way it did. With Henrik Lundqvist laying face down on the ice while the LA Kings leaped and danced and jumped around in joyous, Cup-winning ecstasy. But it did.

I had to scrap my earlier headline and post. The one that would have carried a different title along with totally different content.

Not in Your House Either would have been the title.

This is the shot by Alec Martinez that is on its edge, just inches from becoming the goal that ends the NHL Hockey season. Lundqvist

This is the shot by Alec Martinez that is on its edge, just inches from becoming the goal that ends the NHL Hockey season.

After coming back from the edge of the precipice on Wednesday night in a courageous and hard-fought victory led by Henrik Lunqvist’s great game, last night the New York Rangers ran out of real-estate at the end of the plank that the Kings had put them on.

With the Alec Martinez goal, in the second overtime session, the Ranger season came to an instantly stunning, painful, and abrupt end. As the Kings celebrate the thrill of their victory, NY Ranger Benoit Pouliot skates toward the beginning of his summer, in full knowledge that the coronation of the LA Kings, as Stanley Cup Champions, would begin moments later.

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NY Rangers Have a Date With Stanley

Above are the covers of Friday’s New York Post. Of course there’s the question of taste in their headline,  but what they really mean is that – after a 20 Year wait, the Rangers are Finally Back in the Stanley Cup Finals!

For the first time since 1994, the New York Rangers will return to the NHL’s Stanley Cup Championship Series. It’s been twenty years and that’s a long time between visits. In 1994 I was alive and well, living in Manhattan on the Upper East Side. I’m still alive and well, and have left the New York winters for the sunny West Coast of Florida – Sarasota to be specific. But I still root for the Rangers, and even though I don’t watch hockey often these days, I saw every minute of this game.

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