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2022 Eastern Conference Finals Game #5: Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Rangers Open Thread

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Two Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

When the Blueshirts walked out of Madison Square Garden last Friday, they did so holding a 2-0 series lead over the two time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning. That lead has vanished into thin air after a visit to the Sunshine State, and these Conference Finals are now a best-of-three series. Injuries are starting to mount for New York as Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Strome, and Filip Chytil all hurting at the moment, the latter two of those being questionable to suit up tonight.

On the bright side, the scene has shifted back to Broadway for this pivotal Game 5. As horrid as the Rangers’ 2-7 road record at this juncture of the playoffs is, the eight game home winning streak they’re in the midst of serves as an encouraging tidbit ahead of tonight’s game. Tonight’s winner will have an opportunity to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday, and the Rangers hope they earn that chance tonight.

Player to Watch: Mika Zibanejad

With the rash of injuries the Rangers are facing at center right now, Zibanejad will be a critical player tonight. Him and his linemates were effective during Games 1 and 2, but were largely held in check by Tampa’s checking line over the past two games with the Lightning having last change. Back on home ice tonight, look for a strong effort out of Zibanejad.

Enjoy the game!