After the Rangers punched the Lightning’s unbeaten run, winning the back-to-back playoff game against the two-time defending champions for the first time since 2019, it was probably a little tempting to find a reason to count Tampa. They badly missed injured superstar Braden Point. They were feeling the fatigue of two years of excellence and deep runs. Lacking depth given earlier by boys like Yani Gourde and Blake Coleman, both lost in the last offseason. Rangers goalkeeper Igor Shestarkin was better than Andrei Vasilevsky in these play-offs.
But nothing forces you to believe in a team again just like the moment of radioactivity at the right time, and this Lightning called on the Rangers in the final moments of an exciting Game 3 performance to keep the series competitive.
In the first 59 minutes of the game, the stars of both the teams played a stalemate with each other. Igor and Andrei were all perfect in 5-on-5 action, with Shesterkin saving 49 and finishing the game impressively. But when the best forwards of each team got into the power play, they became too much for an uncontrollable defense. Mika Zibanezad scored in a big, unbeaten one-timer to make it 1-0 in the middle of the second, and just minutes later the only ranger to outscore him this year, Chris Kraider, put himself in a dangerous place and then waited for Pak to get on his stick. , As he does and as he does.
New York has been seen to move to an influential position in the series, but Nikita Kucherov – the NHL’s play-off scoring leader in each of the last two seasons – has created a one-timer of her own so that the game is still halfway through. Complete. And then early in the third half, Lightning captain Steven Stamcos fired — guess what! একa timer through Shesterkin for a tie.
A four-minute penalty late on Kuchchev somehow failed to open the door for the Rangers to win, and in the thrilling last minute of this one, Lightning made Lightning their first-place finish. Before the Bolts had a cup to defend this particular group, they made a name for themselves as the most uniquely beautiful team in hockey, capable of knitting tapestry at any moment that was headlined by scorers. Pass That climaxed with an emphatic goal. It was these highlights, more than anything else, that established how much the Lightning was above the rest of the league, even before their names were solidly proven in the Cup. And just as everyone started planning overtime in Game 3, another one appeared to give their three-bit bid a new lease of life.
With less than a minute left in control, Victor Headman, from the left corner of the back of the offensive zone, slid diagonally into the busy slot area, where Kucherov took it into the net with his back. Faced in the wrong direction and with three defenders still between him and the goalkeeper, it was not a particularly convenient position to score. But Kucherov, almost as he could see in the future, sketched Ondrej Palat from the wing without hesitation with a soft pass in the backhand. Palato, too, did not miss a beat, and before anyone else realized what they were doing, Pak was in the net and the series went back to a 2-1 lead.
A trio with a combined playoff experience of 402 games which, most importantly, can do it with Tampa.
“I was just trying to shoot it on the net, and fortunately it got in,” said the fugitive – rarely the focus but always the main contributor to the team – then politely.
His short shots do not fully control the series away from New York, due to the fact that they maintain a lead and home-ice advantage. But thanks to that goal, the Rangers will have to face a reasonably manageable problem of three wins before two wins instead of an almost-impossible situation for lightning. And since they’re reminded that any suspect is already getting curious about how Shesterkin might try to differentiate, Tamper still has a lot of talent that can stun you with a fantastic clutch goal in extremely high-pressure situations. Until the Rangers win these last two, the Lightning will remain champions. All series for the first time, why they showed.