The Tampa Bay Lightning are playing in the Stanley Cup Final for the third season in a row. With a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, the Lightning will face the Colorado Avalanche for the NHL’s top prize.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos played hero with a pair of goals, including the game-winner late in the third that banked in off his body after a great save by Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin. Beyond that, Andrei Vasilevskiy did what he does in elimination games, which is build a forcefield around his own net. Vasilevskiy didn’t have a massive workload, but he stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced, and he answered the bell when called upon.
Shesterkin did everything he could to force a Game 7 in New York, but his offense let him down for the final time in this series. Even on Tampa’s game-winning goal, Shesterkin made the save but was the victim of an unlucky bounce. Everywhere outside of the crease, the Rangers got thoroughly outplayed, and their five-on-five offense was non-existent. In the final four games of the series, New York scored just one five-on-five goal.