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For Tampa Bay, a Win Over the Rangers Comes at an Opportune Time


However the Rangers withstood the Lightning’s onslaught due to Shesterkin, who stopped all 15 of the Lightning’s shots on goal, including a breakaway by Kucherov, who had sprinted out of the penalty box and brought a protracted pass from defenseman Ryan McDonagh before having his shot kicked aside.

After a scoreless first period, the teams traded penalties. Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren and Lightning forward Ross Colton were each sent off after a scuffle behind the Rangers’ net. But just 15 seconds into four-on-four play, Zibanejad committed an interference penalty, giving Tampa Bay a four-on-three advantage.

The Rangers ended up with one of the best scoring probability when defenseman K’Andre Miller stole the puck from Kucherov and raced up the ice along with his teammate Barclay Goodrow, who hit the far post.

Then the Lightning, who had minimized the mistakes that hurt them in the primary two games, made two self-inflicted errors. Corey Perry was sent off for slashing after he hit Shesterkin’s face mask along with his stick, erasing Tampa’s power play. The Rangers, who did not rating on their 4 power plays in Game 2 and were disorganized on their odd-man advantage in the primary period, looked sharper.

Artemi Panarin after which Adam Fox made cross-ice passes to Zibanejad, who buried a 94-mile-per-hour one-timer past Vasilevskiy’s right side with 12:23 left within the period. It was Zibanejad’s tenth goal of the playoffs and his sixth on the ability play, tying a single-postseason team record set by Adam Graves in 1996.

Lower than a minute later, the Lightning’s Riley Nash bumped into Shesterkin and was called for goalie interference, putting the Rangers right back on the ability play. Again, Panarin found Zibanejad in almost the identical spot to Vasilevskiy’s right, and, though Zibanejad’s shot was stopped this time, Kreider tipped within the rebound for his tenth goal of the playoffs.

At risk of letting the sport — and the series — spin uncontrolled, the Lightning needed to reply, and quickly. They got their probability about 30 seconds later when Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba was called for interference.

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