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Third consecutive trip to the Final awaits as Lightning finish off Rangers

Third consecutive trip to the Final and a showdown with the Avalanche await the Lightning after finishing off the Rangers in Game 6. Steven Stamkos led the offense while Andrei Vasilevksiy reminded us of his brilliance in series-clinching games. The home crowd at Amalie helped for sure as Tampa set the tone right away and never looked back. Some obstacles would occur as the game went on, but Tampa pushed through and eliminated the New York Rangers.

 

Dominate play to start the game

Starting off, Lightning right away put pressure on Igor Shesterkin. Pat Maroon had a solid chance early on stopped by the Rangers net-minder. Then, as the period went on Tampa kept going with a shoot first mentality. Because of this, Lightning kept the momentum on their side and never gave the Rangers a chance to swing back. However, New York with a few minutes left in the period came to life. For the remainder of the period the Rangers took control of the game despite not having much puck possession throughout the period. Game would remain scoreless after the first period of play. In addition, neither team surrendered a penalty in the opening frame.

Keeping the momentum and scoring

Much like the first period Tampa continued to pressure the Rangers defense. Next, Jacob Trouba landed a hit on Corey Perry that shook him up. Perry would have to leave the game following the hit but later returned. In response, Mikhail Sergachev and Kevin Rooney each went to the box for rouging and 4-on-4 hockey followed suit. Afterwards, with about half the period to go the Lightning strike first. Steven Stamkos fired a wicked shot that Shesterkin never saw coming to give the Bolts a 1-0 lead. Minutes later the Lightning received their first power play of the night. Artemi Panarin was called for Hi-sticking as Tampa looked to extend their lead.

Hedman goes down

Shesterkin remained sharp to halt the Lightning from scoring on the man advantage and that trend would continue for the remainder of the period. Had it not been for the stellar goaltending of Shesterkin this game could have been wide open for the Lightning. Tampa continued to be the dominant team while the Rangers looked desperate. Unfortunately, Tampa would be without Hedman for much of the period after suffering a hit from Alexis Lafreniere. Tampa looked to finish off the Rangers and head to a third consecutive Stanley Cup Final in the third period.

Rangers even the score

Moving on, the third period would become the most exciting of the game. The crowd at Amalie was full of energy as it looked like Tampa would finish the job at home. Victor Hedman did return to the game, but Tampa would lose another player. Erik Cernak headed to the locker room after blocking a shot on the penalty kill. In addition, Rangers finally answered Andrei Vasilevskiy on the man advantage. Frank Vatrano scored off the face off to even the score 1-1. Most of the series Rangers played dominate on the power play and that is where most of their goals were scored. Fortunately, Tampa would answer back almost immediately to regain the lead.

Third consecutive Final appearance awaits

Steven Stamkos deflected a pass form Kucherov that went off his leg and in for the go-ahead goal. Toronto would review the goal for possible interference but the call on the ice stood and it was deemed a good goal. At this point Rangers were in full desperation mode and really tested Vasy which they rarely did most of the night. All in all, Vasilevskiy remained sharp, and the Lightning went on to win Game 6 by a score of 2-1. Stamkos was the difference maker as his 2 goals propelled the Lightning to the victory. A third trip to the Final awaited Tampa Bay as they head to Colorado to face the Avalanche for the Stanley Cup.

 

Three Stars of the Game

1st Star: Steven Stamkos – Scored both of the Lightning goals

2nd Star: Andrei Vasilevskiy – Saved 20 of 21 shots faced

3rd Star: Igor Shesterkin – Saved 28 of 30 shots faced

 

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