The Tampa Bay Lightning can eliminate the New York Rangers and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in more than a decade with a victory in Tuesday night’s Game 6 at Amalie Arena. Behind goalie Ben Bishop’s second shutout of the playoffs, the Lightning sewed up a 2-0 win in Game 5 with centers Steven Stamkos and Valtteri Filppula each getting on the board for a 3-2 series lead.
Tampa Bay is now in preparations for possibly its first trip to the Cup Finals since 2004, the first and only time the Lightning won it all.
Bishop needed to respond after allowing 10 combined goals in Games 3 and 4, the worst stretch of his young career, but with 26 saves and Tampa Bay resorting to an uncharacteristic defense-first approach the President’s Trophy winning Rangers are on the ropes.
"Even though what happened the last few games, I wasn't discouraged," Bishop said. "I wasn't happy with the way I was playing, but nothing was drastically wrong. I wanted to come out and play the same way, and that was the result."
New York is again facing a postseason hole again, having already stormed back from a 3-1 deficit against the Washington Capitals in the previous round. Over the last four years, the Rangers have been down 3-2 six times, but have won four of those series.
Clearly the Rangers have been here before, and their a resilient bunch whose eager to force a final Game 7 back home at Madison Square Garden.
“We just have to go down there and play confident, play our best game and try to get a win,” defenseman Marc Staal. “Everyone believes in here that we can do it, so we just have to go down there, step up, give our best effort and try to get one.”
The Rangers have largely outshot and outhustled the Lightning throughout the series, and goalie Henrik Lundqvist overcame the 12 goals he surrendered in Games 3 and 4 to allow only three in the last two games. New York should also get a boost from Lundqvist’s 14-3 record when he’s faced elimination.
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Network
Live Online: A live stream is available at NBC Sports Live Extra
Betting Odds: Lightning -1.5, over/under 5 goals
Prediction: Rangers over Lightning, 3-2