The first game of the series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers was not a goalie duel as expected. The Blueshirts won 6-2 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
• Read also: Anze Kopitar honored
• Read also: New contract for Martin St-Louis: the pleasure of coaching
• Read also: A new contract for Calle Rosen
The Rangers have solved the Andrei Vasilevskiy conundrum, cheating on him three more times in one meeting than the Florida Panthers in four games in the previous round.
The crowd favorites gushed in the middle period scoring three times. The young Filip Chytil continued his momentum by scoring two of these goals, he who has accumulated five successes in his last three games.
Frank Vatrano was the author of the other net for his team in the second period, a few moments after having managed a superb defensive game at the expense of Anthony Cirelli.
Before Chytil's exploits, the "Bolts" seemed to be in the game. More than a week after sweeping their Florida rivals, Jon Cooper's squad were quick to chase the rust away as they put up a fierce first-half battle against Rangers. Steven Stamkos responded to the first goal of the game, scored by Chris Kreider, with the powerful slap shot that built his fame.
The captain of the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions was also an accomplice to Ondrej Palat's 42nd career playoff goal.
Artemi Panarin nailed the coffin for the Lightning after just 30 seconds into the third period. Mika Zibanejad then imitated him on the power play.
If Vasilevskiy had possibly one of his worst spring games of a career, allowing six goals on 34 shots, his compatriot Igor Shesterkin had a much more pleasant evening. He managed 37 parades in the victory of his family.
The two formations will cross swords again in the mythical New York amphitheater on Friday evening.