The Rangers lost Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals by a 6-5 score.
The Rangers got an early powerplay 26 seconds into the game when Cedric Paquette capped off a post-whistle shoving match with a gloved to Jesper Fast’s face, resulting in a roughing penalty.
The Rangers converted their man-advantage into the game’s opening goal just 36 seconds later. Derick Brassard’s slapshot from the left circle went passed Bishop, who was screened effectively by Kreider.
There was a bit of a scary moment about a minute after the goal when Kevin Hayes was shaken by a big hit from Steven Stamkos.
— Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) May 21, 2015
Hayes took his next shift however.
After a collision between Derek Stepan and Matt Carle opened up the center of the ice, Chris Kreider sent Jesper Fast in all alone to beat Bishop on a backhand move.
The 2 goal lead was a short one, however, as a Dan Boyle offensive zone turnover led to a 2-on-1 the other direction, resulting in a Steven Stamkos rebound goal.
Dan Boyle played 1:30 of the final 8:53 of the period following the goal. Ryan McDonagh played two shifts on Keith Yandle’s right late in the period.
Period 1 ended with the Lightning holding a 12-9 shot on goal advantage while trailing 2-1.
After two failed Ranger powerplays in the first half of the second period, Derick Brassard took a hooking penalty just past the midway point of the frame. After an early clear, Tampa Bay entered the zone quickly and Girardi was caught too wide, and gave Ondrej Palat a free pass to the net. Palat made no mistake in burying a forehand the the blocker side.
Tyler Johnson gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead during 4-on-4, when Palat threaded a cross-crease through the sticks of Kreider and Klein, who were vaguely in the way, onto Johnson’s stick on the open side.
Continuing the playoff-long trend of bad things happening for the Rangers when Marc Staal is on the ice, a Marc Staal miss sprung the Lightning in the other direction, leading to a Alex Killorn 4-2 goal.
Like the Rangers’ 2-goal lead, the Lightning’s 4-2 lead didn’t last long either, as just 29 seconds later, Jesper Fast scored his 2nd of the game off a rebound in front, coming from a Kevin Klein try.
The Rangers allowed 3 goals on 12 shots in a very sloppy second period which saw them yield the lead to the Lightning.
After Jesper Fast drew a tripping penalty 90 seconds into the third, the Rangers went on their 4th powerplay of the game. The powerplay lead to the Rangers tying the game when McDonagh did a good job receiving the Hayes pass towards his front foot and burying it behind Bishop.
The Lightning re-took the lead with just under six minutes left in regulation, however. After taking a hit in the offensive zone Chris Kreider finished his check hard on Palat entering the Ranger zone, and made residual contact with Dan Girardi, taking him out of the play. That opened up ice for Palat, taking a feed from Nestorov, to skate through the center of the ice and fire a shot by Lundqvist.
But because it was just that kind of game, the Rangers tied it up once more. Rick Nash, covering for a pinching Dan Boyle, fired a point shot through a J.T. Miller screen that caught an unsuspecting Ben Bishop up high. The puck came back to Keith Yandle on the right point, who got a shot through and eventually onto Dan Boyle’s stick in front of the net, where he put it home.
To no one’s surprise, the game didn’t last too long into overtime. After an easy zone entry, Nikita Kucherov found a space between McDonagh and Girardi between the circles and beat Lundqvist with a wrist-shot blocker side. Not a great goal from Lundqvist’s perspective.
The Rangers were heavily out-shot at 5-on-5 on the night, and had Ben Bishop’s poor play to thank for getting the game into overtime.
Falling down 2-1 in the series, the Rangers’ have now just a 33% chance of advancing the the Cup Finals according to my forecast.
A pivotal Game 4 goes Friday night.