The Rangers have done what no other NHL team could do in the last two postseasons.
After feeding the Lightning their first consecutive playoff losses since 2019, the Rangers look like an unstoppable and determined bunch after a 3-2 victory in Game 2 Friday night at Madison Square Garden that has this team believing in itself more than ever.
Mika Zibanejad scored a crucial third-period goal, Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves and now the Rangers will venture to Tampa, Fla., for Games 3 and 4 with a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final.
The Rangers are picking apart the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. They are poking holes in a Stanley Cup-winning ship that has stayed afloat for two seasons. There is no rhyme or reason to it — the Rangers are simply outplaying the Lightning in every sense of the word.
“It’s a huge win for us, but we just get ready for the next one,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “It’s in the past behind us. We know what we’re doing, playing a real good team like Tampa Bay. To play the way we’ve played the last two games, that’s the way we’re going to have to play to win this series.”