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The Eastern Conference Finals pits the Tampa Bay Lightning against the New York Rangers who have made the Conference Finals for the third time in four years. This series will put many former players against each other. Ryan Callahan, who is a game time decision after his emergency appendectomy a few games ago, Martin St .Louis, Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle face their old teams. St. Louis is the lone former Lightning player with the others being former Rangers. Both teams have had exceptional goaltending from the playoff rookie, Ben Bishop and the King, Henrik Lundqvist. Both goalies have the best save percentage and goal against average out of the last 4 starting goaltenders. Bishop has a SV% of .931 and a GAA of 1.81. Lundqvist has a SV% of .944 and a GAA of 1.60. Tyler Johnson has been hot in the playoffs this season leading the playoffs in goals and the Lightning in points. Johnson has stepped up and helped the Lightning overcome Stamkos’s minor slump. On the Rangers side Rick Nash, who scored 42 goals in the regular season, has only two goals in this year’s playoffs. This is not unusual for Nash in the playoffs as has just 7 goals in 53 playoff games. The Rangers will be hoping he can break out of this funk and lead them not only past the Lightning but also to the Stanley Cup. In the three contests between the two the Lightning won every game even with Lundqvist in net outscoring them by 15-7. The last game came on the 1st of December when the Rangers were not on top form

The Rangers and Lightning will be hoping that they can ruin the opposite goaltender’s stats and help their own in this series. In game one the Rangers will be able to do something they were unable to do the regular season, beat the Lightning. The King will come up with a great performance again to overshadow his team good offensive play. In game two the red hot line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov will return and tie the series at one heading in to Tampa Bay. Game 3 will go the Lightning with both goaltenders taking control and Johnson will win it in OT. The Rangers will be able to tie up the series in a very tight battle. Derek Stepan will get the game winning goal. The Rangers will win game five by a slighting bigger margin than game four. The Rangers will win their third consecutive win in a row to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in a row.

Series: Rangers 4-2
Game 1: 4-1 Rangers
Game 2: 4-2 Lightning
Game 3: 2-1 Lightning
Game 4: 3-2 Rangers
Game 5: 3-1 Rangers
Game 6: 4-2 Rangers

All Stats from NHL.com
Filed Under:   Rangers   Lightning   Nash   Johnson  
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