Rangers vs. Lightning Game 1 score: New York looks dominant on both ends in comfortable win vs. Tampa Bay
Igor Shesterkin looked the part of a Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy finalist in the Game 1 win
In a game that featured two elite goaltenders, it ended up being the offenses that rose to the occasion in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final. Behind a two-goal performance from young center Filip Chytil, the Rangers topped the Lightning 6-2 to open the series on Wednesday.
Vezina Trophy finalist Igor Shesterkin had a strong outing in which he stopped 37 of the 39 shots he faced. On the other hand, Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy surrendered six goals for the third time in a playoff game throughout his career.
After the game was tied 1-1 following the opening period of play, Rangers center Frank Vatrano proved to be an asset on both ends of the ice. Just moments after skating back to break up a potential two-on-one scoring chance for the Lightning, Vatrano snapped a shot over Vasilevskiy's blocker to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead 7:50 into the second period. This came after Steven Stamkos over-skated the puck in the defensive zone, which allowed Vatrano to have a wide-open look at the net.
The Lightning did respond with a goal from winger Ondrej Palat just 42 seconds later. Palat was able to ram home a rebound past Shesterkin following a backhanded shot on net from Steven Stamkos. Following Palat's goal, that's when the wheels fell off for the Lightning as the Rangers scored four consecutive goals.
Chytil scored a pair of second period goals just five minutes apart to break a 2-2 tie. The 22-year old has scored five goals over his last three games and also registered his second multi-goal game during that stretch.
The Rangers' third line of Chytil, Kappo Kakko, and Alexis Lafreniere proved to be key difference makers in Game 1. The trio, which has earned the nickname the "Kids Line," tallied two goals and three assists in the series-opening victory. Lafreniere produced two assists while Kakko assisted on Chytil's first goal.
Chytil's second goal may have been the most impressive of his two tallies. Defenseman K'Andre Miller whipped a cross-ice pass to Chytil and he was able to square up and rip a scorching one-timer past Vasilevskiy. That goal gave the Rangers a 4-2 at the 15:43 mark of the second period and proved to be the difference.
Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad added goals in the third period to really put the game out of reach. Zibanejad registered a goal and an assist and it was the sixth time that he registered a multi-point game throughout the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Wednesday's victory was the seventh consecutive home playoff win for the Rangers. The Rangers now own a 7-1 record when playing at home during the 2022 postseason. In addition, they've outscored their opponents 35-18 during their impressive run at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers take Game 1 with a 6-2 win over the Lightning. Rangers center Filip Chytil scored a pair of second period goals to put the Rangers in front for good. The "Kids Line" of Chytil, Kappo Kakko, and Alexis Lafreniere produced five of the team's 13 points on the night. It marks the seventh consecutive home playoff win for New York.
With the game getting out of hand, we've got quite a few extra-curricular activities. The Lightning end up getting a power-play out of it with several players receiving misconduct penalties and leaving the ice.
Rangers look to have Game 1 well in hand as they own a 6-2 lead with 5:28 remaining in the third period. New York has racked up four unanswered goals to take control of the contest.
Rangers defenseman K'Andre Miller goes to the box for holding Steven Stamkos. Lightning get a much-needed power-play opportunity.
The third time is the charm for Mika Zibanejad. For the third time on the power-play, the Rangers got it to Zibanejad for a one-time opportunity. Finally, Zibanejad converts the one-timer off a tremendous pass from Artemi Panarin. Rangers lead 6-2 with 13:54 to go in Game 1.
Lightning winger Alex Killorn gets a penalty for holding Artemi Panari. Rangers set to go on their second power-play of the night and have a chance to really put this one out of reach.
The Rangers kill off the Justin Braun penalty and it's still 5-2 in their favor early in the third period. Igor Shesterkin continues to stand tall.
Igor Shesterkin made a huge save at point-blank range, but he's down following the play. Shesterkin was down, but he's back up and standing. Rangers training staff is out to check on him. Steven Stamkos appeared to make contact with Shesterkin on the play, but Shesterkin will stay in the game.
Rangers defenseman Justin Braun gets whistled for tripping after he interfered with Ross Colton. Lightning needs an answer in the worst way.
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