New York Rangers Rout Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-2, In Game 1 of Eastern Conference Finals

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Madison Square Garden was electric on Wednesday night as hometown fans watched their New York Rangers demolish the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-2, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

New York stuck it to the defending champs, looking sharp on offense and leading a confident defensive effort against Tampa’s sluggish response all evening.

During a 2-2 tie in the second quarter, New York’s Filip Chytil received a pass from behind Tampa’s net and drilled in the score to go up, 3-2. He scored two in the second period, which featured a surge of offense from New York to go up 4-2, following Chris Kreider’s score in the first. Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad solidified the victory with two scores in the third period.

The Rangers’ 3-0 regular-season record against the Lightning proved telling of an uphill battle for the Lightning this series.

A lagging offensive outing by the Lightning on an off night from goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy proved critical in Wednesday’s loss. Vasilevsky struggled: surrendering six goals on 34 shots.

Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin continued his ascension in this year’s postseason, last seen in a superb outing in Monday’s Game 7 win against the Carolina Hurricanes.

On Wednesday, Shesterkin recorded 36 saves and helped the Rangers glide to a Game 1 win.

Tampa Bay was enjoying a six-game winning streak heading into Game 1 until New York trumped it with their seventh consecutive win at home this postseason.

New York and Tampa reunite on Friday for Game 2 of the ECF, live in New York.

Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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