A pair of second period goals from Chris Kreider and Keith Yandle 1:48 apart propelled the New York Rangers to 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. The series is now tied 2-2 with Game 5 Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
After allowing six goals in each of the past two games, the Rangers found their defense again, holding the Lightning to a single Steven Stamkos goal in the second period. Henrik Lundqvist was kept busy and was back in form, finishing with 38 saves.
New York opened the scoring late in the opening frame when Rick Nash powered his way to his first goal in five games:
Stamkos would tie the game midway through the second period, but that was quickly answered by the Rangers.
Chris Kreider regained the lead for New York after a Brendan Morrow defensive zone turnover led to an eventual rebound opportunity for the Rangers forward, which he pounced on for his seventh of the postseason. The lead would double 108 seconds later when a lucky bounce went in favor of the visitors as Keith Yandle’s shot from the point deflected off Victor Hedman’s leg and by Ben Bishop:
New York’s pair of quick goals in the second ended a period in which Tampa dominated everything but the scoreboard, outshooting the Rangers 19-6, but failing on two power play opportunities and leaving the ice with only one goal to show for it.
In the third period, it was an old friend of the Lightning who put the game out of reach. Martin St. Louis made it 4-1 with his first of the playoffs thanks to a great cross-ice pass from Derick Brassard:
Nash would add his second of the game late in the third period as New York made it 5-1.
"It's frustrating when you can't help your team out offensively when you're supposed to score goals," Nash told NBCSN's Brian Engblom afterward. "It's not going in, you feel like you're letting your team down. But I'm trying to help out in any area I can and tonight, finally, a couple went in."
It was Nash who set up a private screening of the "Entourage" movie during the team’s day off on Thursday. After two goals and an assist in Game 4, and knowing how superstitious hockey players can be, might we suggest "Mad Max: Fury Road" for Saturday night? It's really, really good.
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