Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lightning Take Lead in Eastern Conference Final in OT

Dan Boyle (Miami) tied the game with 1:56 remaining in regulation, but the New York Rangers still went down to defeat, 6-5, in overtime on Wednesday night in Florida. The Tampa Bay Lightning now hold a two games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final.

It was New York's first OT setback in five NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games this spring, and it also marked the second straight contest that it allowed six goals, following a 6-2 defeat on Monday in Game 2 in Manhattan.

Boyle set up the Rangers' first goal of the evening as New York took a 2-0 lead, with Derek Stepan (Wisconsin), Chris Kreider (Boston College) and Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin) all drawing assists. Tampa Bay struck back with four straight tallies spanning the first and second periods, the last by Alex Killorn (Harvard) to give him three goals in his last two outings.

The Rangers, who finished with two power-play goals in four chances, tied the contest as Stepan set up their third goal late in the second stanza, before McDonagh scored the tying marker early in the third session off an assist from Kevin Hayes (Boston College). The Lightning then regained the lead, 5-4, with less than six minutes left, setting the stage for Boyle's temporary heroics before Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov wristed home the game-winner 3:33 into sudden death.

Ben Bishop (Maine) finished with 23 saves for the Lightning, who outshot the Rangers, 40-28. Game 4 is Friday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

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