The Rangers knew that after a poor performance by the Lightning in game one, the Bolts were ready to show why they were able to get to the Eastern Conference Final by taking out both the Red Wings & Canadiens. Well after a solid start to the game and getting a rare two man advantage on the Power Play, it all started to go wrong.
A sort of a lazy pass to Martin St. Louis led to a strange situation as his skate stepped on the puck and fell down that allowed a rare 2 on 0 short handed chance for the Lightning that was converted by Tyler Johnson as the puck trickled past Lundqvist and in for the first shorthanded goal against the Rangers at 5:38 of the 1st Period. After a Chris Kreider Power Play goal to tie it up at 8:50 another Special Teams goal was converted by the Lightning at 11:15 as Tyler Johnson again converts on a 4 on 3 Power Play up close.
Johnson would get his hat trick in the 2nd period as he just trickles it again past Lundqvist and at 8:17 of the second made it a two goal advantage. Even though Derek Stepan pulled another goal back and it was a smart move to bank the puck off a Lightning player and into the net from behind the cage, the Lightning took advantage of poor play from the Rangers and two big goals from Alex Killorn who scored two and Steven Stamkos sealed the deal.
But a key play by Ben Bishop stopped the Rangers from tying the game as both Rick Nash and Jesper Fast attacked on Shorthand chances as Nash shot was stopped and Fast tried to convert the rebound, but couldn’t as Bishop lifted his left pad and then the Lightning converted. This was the poor performance that Alain Vigneault was dreading against a Lightning team that didn’t have anything in Game 1, but came back and showed it tonight.
This is the first game that the Rangers haven’t won or lost a playoff game by a goal as the Lightning won it by four, but the truth is that any loss by a small or large margin still stings and now they will fly down to Tampa, Florida to get ready for Game 3.
But you hope the Rangers like they did to the Penguins in the first round will shake off this game two loss and try to split these next two or try to take both road games down in Central West Florida as the Rangers will try to retake the lead in this series.