The New York Rangers fired from all cylinders Tuesday night, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Rangers not only avoided elimination but they have a chance to close out the series at home.
Rangers center Derick Brassard led New York’s charge with a hat trick, the first in his career. The deciding Game 7 is scheduled for Friday at Madison Square Garden in New York, with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Final against either the Chicago Blackhawks or Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks lead the Blackhawks 3-2 in the best-of-seven Western Conference Final.
"We just made plays," Brassard said via the Rangers’ official website. "We were hungry on the puck, pretty good on the forecheck, and we were on the same page."
Brassard's goal at the 3:36 mark of the opening period gave New York a 2-1 advantage. After a scoreless second period, the Rangers scored three straight goals in the first seven minutes of the third period to grab a 5-1 lead. Brassard had an assist and his second goal in this stretch.
"Everything on the line again, and we found a way," New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who saved 36 shots, said in post-game interviews. "In the third (period) maybe our experience in these situations helped us because we played extremely well, a smart period."
With the Game 6 win on Tuesday, the Rangers now have won 15 of the last 18 games when facing elimination.