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Rangers take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on Late Dominic Moore Goal

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Game 1 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals played out almost like every other “Broadway Blueshirt” playoff game this season. It had some good checking and great saves by both goalies. Some hard hits and some timely scoring; Just not that much scoring.

For the ninth time in 13 playoff games, the final score was 2-1. And for the seventh time out of those nine, the Rangers came out on top.

The first period was scoreless, but the Rangers definitely had the better of the play. They threw some dangerous shots at Ben Bishop, but he was able to stop them all. One in particular was a breakaway by Derek Stepan that Bishop was able to get just a piece of with his stick and it flew harmlessly over the net.

The second period was much like the first, even though the Lightning tried to slow down the pace a bit.

It seemed like although many believed the Lightning came into the series with equal overall team speed, they could not keep up with the Rangers.

A shot by Chris Kreider was stopped by Bishop, who had lost his stick and Derek Stepan, much like Game 7 vs the Caps, was right there to flip it over the prone Tampa goalie for the 1-0 lead.

The Rangers took a slim one goal lead into the third period and faced a Tampa Power Play, as Ryan McDonagh was sent off on a high sticking penalty.

The Lightning were kept off the board for the first part of the power-play, but a cross-ice pass by Tyler Johnson found Ondrej Palat, who one-timed a rolling puck past Henrik Lundqvist on his glove side, which was also the short side. The puck seemed to gain altitude as it flew over Hank’s glove into the net.

The third period continued back and forth, and there were some plays not called by the refs. It seemed that the Rangers were called for some borderline penalties, where the Lightning were getting away with a lot on the ice. But the Rangers were able to kill off three of the four Tampa Power Plays.

One of those Power Plays was the result of a tripping penalty on Dominic Moore. The Rangers were able to kill off that one and when Moore was released from the penalty box, he was like a man possessed. He was all over the ice and the tide seemed to be turning.

The Rangers kept the pressure in the Tampa end and Derick Brassard controlled the puck and sent it down to Kevin Hayes. The young rookie from BC skated below the Tampa goal with the puck and passed it towards the net. It went past Ben Bishop and struck the leg of the hard charging Dominic Moore. It bounced off his lower leg and into the net for a 2-1 Ranger lead. There was less than three minutes left in the game.

The Lightning were ready to lift Bishop for the extra attacker, but the Rangers won the face off and pushed the puck down ice. Then they forced an offside. Then the Rangers shot the puck deep and kept up the pressure so much that the Lightning could not get out of the own end until there was less than 10 seconds left. The Rangers did such a good job that the Lightning could not gain any momentum and the game ended with the Blueshirts in control even though they were outnumbered.

So Game 1 of the ECF went to the Rangers, as they won just one more one goal game.

Game 2 will be at MSG on Monday May 18th at 8:00PM EST


NYR: Dereck Stepan (4) Assisted by Chris Kreider & Ryan McDonagh

TBL: Ondrej Palat (4) PPG Assisted by Tyler Johnson & Victor Hedman

NYR: Dominic Moore (1) Assisted by Kevin Hayes & Derick Brassard

Team Stats                TBL                NYR

Shots on Goal            24                30

Power Play                1 for 4            0 for 2

Hits                    18                30

Giveaways                6                8

Takeaways                4                10

Face Off Wins            30                23

Blocked Shots            17                15

Goalie Stats:

Ben Bishop: 28 Saves on 30 Shots for a SV% of .933

Henrik Lundqvist: 23 Saves on 24 Shots for a SV% of .958

3 Stars of the Game:

3rd Star: Ondrej Palat: 1 Goal

2nd Star: Henrik Lundqvist: 23 Saves on 24 Shots for a SV% of .958

1st Star: Dominic Moore: Game winning Goal

Broadway Bits:

The Rangers are 7-0 this playoff season when they have scored exactly two goals

The Rangers have a playoff series record of 23-6 when they have won Game 1 at home

The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in 11 of 13 games this playoff season, including 10 of the last 11

They have also allowed two goals or fewer in 21 of their last 22 playoff wins; dating back to Game 1 of the Metropolitan Division Semifinals vs Philadelphia on April 17, 2014; and in 37 of their last 42 playoff wins dating back to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal against Pittsburgh on May 1, 2008

All 13 games of this playoff season, their last 15 and 21 of their last 25 playoff games have all been decided by one goal

The Rangers have scored first in eight of their 13 playoff games this season and are 6-2 when doing so

The Blueshirts have won 41 of 42 games when leading after the second period

Through the 13 games this playoff season, 10 different Rangers have scored at least one goal. In the team’s nine wins, eight different players have scored at least one game winning goal

This Game 1 vs Tampa was the 70th playoff game for the Rangers since the start of the 2012 playoff season. They have won 37 of them

Dominic Moore scored the game winning goal, had three shots on goal and posted a plus one rating in 17:13 of ice time

Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves to win his fourth game in a row and the ninth of this playoff season.

Derek Stepan scored a goal, had three shots on goal and posted a plus one rating in 18:35 of ice time

Chris Kreider had an assist, three hits and posted a plus one rating in 14:19 of ice time

Ryan McDonagh had an assist, led all skaters with four blocks, two takeaways, three shots on goal and posted a plus one rating in 21:16 of ice time

Kevin Hayes had the primary assist on the game winning goal, had two hits and posted a plus one rating in 15:38 of ice time

Derick Brassard had an assist, led all skaters with six shots on goal, had three takeaways, tied for the game-high with five hits and posted a one-plus rating in 16:07 of ice time

Game 2 will be played at MSG on Monday May 18th. Face off is scheduled for 8:00PM EST

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