Friday, May 22, 2015
Rick Nash's double helps the Rangers tie the series at 2
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That is what you waited to see from your President's Trophy winners. That's what you needed to see from the Rangers as they bounced back from a tough Overtime loss in Game 3 to a big four goal victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning and tie this series at two a piece. The type of defense and finally breaking out with another five goal performance as the Rangers head back to Madison Square Garden on Sunday night and try to take a three games to two lead in this series.
But the big awakening of Rick Nash was something many have wanted to see and as he opened the scoring in the first period, he ended the scoring in the third period to earn his first multi-goal playoff game in his career. At 17:18 of the first period Carl Hagelin kicked the puck out of the zone and to Kevin Hayes to generate a quick two on one, but Hayes quickly gave the puck to Nash who skated hard to the net and as he went back hand up close, the shot hit the far post and pinballed off of Ben Bishop's left leg and into the back of the net. That ended the first period giving the Rangers a lead late in the opening period.
His second of the game ended the night in the third as Nash was able to take Hayes deflected shot from Keith Yandle that was saved by Bishop and stuffs the rebound thru the pads and that would end the night for the Lightning. But let's not forget that any chance the Lightning get are sometimes out of the blue and Steven Stamkos found a way to tie up the score at 11:30 of the 2nd period as he made a quick snapping shot out of nowhere to beat Lundqvist blocker side.
But the Rangers knew they couldn't allow a big emotional let down again and this time they found a way to regain the lead and keep it as the game continued on Kevin Klein who has been a big asset in the regular season found a way to get a shot on net, but a juicy rebound found Chris Kreider who converted the rebound to make it two to one Rangers, then Keith Yandle finally gets his first of the playoffs as he ripped a shot that deflected off a Hedman and the Rangers took a two goal lead into the third.
Then a Power Play Goal was finally converted by Marty St. Louis as he was able to cash in his first of the 2015 playoffs and the New York Rangers can breath as they finally get a win at the Amalie Arena in the playoffs. But the one player that can really take a deep breath and finally enjoy this victory is starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist as he was able to celebrate. Let's be honest with ourselves and say that Henrik had to really refocus and reset his mind to face this Lightning team that has had his number in the regular season.
We can easily say that game three was his worst in his playoff career as he whiffed on that OT winner by Kucherov and got shot up looking like Swiss cheese, but while Lundqvist made spectacular saves again to keep his team in the game, but the truth is that his defense was there to help him as the Lightning once again was cherry picking from the Rangers blue line to sneak in and convert their chances.
But as of right now the Rangers look like they have found their game again and have sent this series back to the Garden all tied at two and hopefully with a big crowd back in the big apple can get loud for the Rangers and hope to take the series lead when they had it after game one.