Eastern Conference Final
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The New York Rangers will look to regain control of this series tonight, as they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. Last game, the Rangers broke out offensively, and did so in pretty convincing fashion. Rick Nash (x2), Martin St. Louis, and Keith Yandle all who have received an immense amount of criticism, and rightly so, stepped up huge in Game 4. While the Rangers weren't aesthetically pleasing in their own zone at times, they were able to shut down the Lightning.
Henrik Lundqvist also responded with a huge game after his clunker in Game 3, and was a monster all night long for the Rangers. While there are myths that momentum doesn't carry game to game, the Rangers certainly have to feel pretty good about their game heading into tonight. They were able to put up five goals once again, two of their star players finally emerged from their goal scoring drought, and Henrik Lundqvist returned to form.
However, just like this entire series, the Rangers will have to prepare themselves for a breakout game from the Tampa Bay Lightning. That team has way too much skill, and if they are given a chance, they will make you pay quite a bit. Take care of the puck, stay out of the box, and score all of the goals. Sounds like a pretty good plan to me!
Bryan's Player to Watch: Martin St. Louis
It would be wrong of me not to choose Martin St. Louis after he finally notched his first goal of the playoffs on Friday. I've been telling myself all along that if St. Louis was able to get one, it would change his entire game. Sure enough, after Derick Brassard set him up in the third period in Game 4, he looked like a completely different player. He was jumping on loose pucks, finding the open ice, and had a little extra jump in his game. If he can bottle that confidence and carry it over to tonight, the Rangers will be in good shape.
6 wins away. Let's go Rangers!