TAMPA BAY 2 NE W YORK RANGERS 0
Checkmate! Bishop takes the King!
The Tampa Bay Lightning, behind the goaltending of Ben Bishop, shutout the New York Rangers and the King, Henrik Lundqvist 2-0 to win the best-of-seven semi-finals in seven games and head to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Rangers started the game down a blueliner as Ryan McDonagh was unable to go but coach Alain Vigneault went with seven defensemen as James Sheppard was scratched with Matt Hunwick playing on the blueline.
It turns out that McDonagh suffered a broken foot a couple of games ago (according to Vigneault in his press conference after the game) and the freezing was not taking before the game, putting his appearance on the ice in doubt. Eventually the freezing took effect, allowing McDonagh to play, but the Rangers had only 11 forwards for Game 7.
Bishop made 22 saves to rebound after being pulled in Game 6 in which he gave up five goals on only 26 shots. It was the second Game 7 shutout in a row for Bishop as he also picked up a 2-0 shutout in which both Tampa Bay goals were scored in the third period.
It was the first Game 7 loss for Lundqvist in his career as he had won his previous six, an NHL record. He stopped 23 of 25 shots as the Rangers attempted to go back-to-back in reaching the Cup Final.
There was no scoring in each of the first two periods as the Lightning outshot New York 19-11.
But the Lightning finally broke the tie early in the third as Alex Killorn, who led all Tampa Bay forwards in time on ice, put a backhand past a screened Lundqvist to provide all the scoring Bishop would need.
Bishop also picked up an assist on Anton Stralman’s empty net goal in the elimination game against the Red Wings in Round 1. He and Killorn lead the Lightning in Game 7 points in the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs with two apiece.
There were only two penalties called in the game and both went against the Lightning as the referees let both teams play.
Keith Yandle was even in the game and was not on the ice for a Tampa Bay even strength goal the entire series.
Game 7 of the Anaheim-Chicago series goes Saturday. If Anaheim wins, the Cup Final starts in Anaheim on Monday, but if Chicago pulls off the road victory, the series opens in Tampa Bay Monday.