NHL Playoffs: Bolts rally by Rangers, Gallant upset with Shesterkin bumps
The NHL Playoffs Eastern Conference Final saw the Tampa Bay Lightning show their championship pedigree to claw back into their series against the New York Rangers.
Ondrej Palat capped off a three goal rally with just 41.6 seconds left in the game to give the Bolts a 3-2 win over the Blueshirts in Game 3 at Amalie Arena on Sunday afternoon.
“I think we shot the puck twice, ‘Kuch’ got in the slot and made a great pass to me,” Palat said. “I was just trying to shoot it on net and the puck went in.”
After the game, Rangers head coach was not pleased with the way Tampa crowded the crease and purposely bumped Igor Shesterkin repeatedly, including a slash to the face by Corey Perry and a goalie interference when Riley Nash bowled him over.
“It doesn’t faze him,” Gallant said. “It fazes me more than him. I don’t like it. Hopefully, when we talk to the supervisor [Monday], they’ll take care of some of that because it wasn’t right.”
NHL Playoffs: Lightning 3 vs Rangers 2
Nikita Kucherov was the difference maker for Tampa Bay as they came back from a two-goal deficit midway through the second period. The Lightning’s leading scorer in the playoffs with 20 points was involved on every goal and got things started with a power play tally to get the series to 2-1 New York.
Steven Stamkos and Palat were the other Tampa goal scorers. Andrei Vasilevskiy was also a standout through two-periods, before the Lightning took over in the third firing 19 shots to the Rangers 6. He made 28 saves for the victory.
The Rangers took a 2-0 lead on Mika Zibanejad’s 10th goal of the playoffs and Chris Kreider’s 10th. Both tallies were on the power play from penalties against Tampa for hitting Shesterkin.
New York’s goalie was absolutely brilliant in the losing effort stopping 48 of 51 shots fired his way.
“They were the better team tonight, overall,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “It went right down to the wire, and they had a chance to win late in the hockey game. Disappointing, but we’ll move on and get ready for the next one.”NHL.com
The Rangers will have another chance to try and grab a chokehold in the series on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena. Game 4 is scheduled for an 8PM ET faceoff.