After the great effort and well-deserved win in Game 4, the New York Rangers now travel back to Madison Square Garden for a very important Game 5.
The series, now in a 2-2 tie, has turned into a best-of-three to decide the Eastern Conference team that advances to the Stanley Cup Final. Since New York is the higher seed, they will have home ice for Game 5 and a possible Game 7 if necessary. But right now, the Rangers’ focus is on Game 5. It would be a huge win and advantage to take home Game 5 because they can eliminate the Lightning in either of the following games.
New York played extremely well in Game 4, proving they can win in Tampa and effectively shutting down the Lightning. Henrik Lundqvist was on top of his game, Rick Nash had two goals, the Rangers were 50% on the power play and 100% on the penalty kill. Everything went New York’s way, and this is exactly how the Rangers must play tomorrow in order to get a win
At home, New York has to win. With the Madison Square Garden crowd on their backs and the Lightning still shaken up, they should be able to pull it off. The Rangers need to keep getting under the skin of Tampa Bay, and throw their top offensive guys off their game. Tyler Johnson had 0 points for the first time all series and was held to only 1 shot on goal. New York must keep up that pressure on Johnson and all the Lighting players, especially the first two lines.
Only one goal against was huge for Lundqvist. After giving up 12 in his last two games, Lundqvist seemed to be right back to the goaltender that is regarded as one best in the NHL, stopping 38 of 39 shots. In order for the Rangers to win Game 5, Henrik Lundqvist must play like he did in Game 4 and Game 1. Without their All-Star goaltender, there is no way the Rangers will be able to win.
10 goals in two games. The Rangers’ offense is on fire right now and they have to keep it up. Get more shots to Bishop, keep scoring on their power plays, and put away the opportunities they get. The Lightning’s Ben Bishop was a mess last night with only 19 saves on 24 shots. If New York can constantly have offensive pressure and finish the puck they can get a good lead and hold it like in Game 4.
This will be a key game for the Rangers. Game 5 is tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.