clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lightning vs. Rangers 2015 final score: Henrik Lundqvist leads New York to 2-1 win in Game 1

Lundqvist bested Bishop in an excellent goalie duel.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Eastern Conference finals began with a spectacular goalie duel, and Henrik Lundqvist came out on top as the New York Rangers took Game 1 with a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Lundqvist finished with 23 saves. His counterpart, Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop, stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced.

The theme of Game 1 (lots of chances, few goals to show for it) started up early in the first period when Kevin Hayes toe-dragged around a Lightning defender and fired a shot that Bishop gloved. A few minutes later, Carl Hagelin teed up a shot that Martin St. Louis whiffed on at the doorstep. New York totaled 11 shots in the first period, but none of them found twine.

Tampa Bay got its chance to respond early when Rangers winger J.T. Miller was penalized for slashing. Despite a few good looks, the Lightning failed to capitalize. New York also failed on two power play chances, as Bishop turned aside another 11 shots in the second frame.

The scoreless tie finally broke in the final minute of the second period, when a Rangers shot deflected off Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr's foot, where Derek Stepan fired the rebound home for a 1-0 New York lead.

The lead would not last, as Tampa Bay took advantage of a Rangers penalty and a goal from Ondrej Palat to tie the game early in the third. The game looked destined for overtime until Dominic Moore cut low into the crease and slipped the game-winning goal by Bishop with two minutes remaining.

3 things we learned

1. Ben Bishop might be a match for Henrik Lundqvist

Considering how shaky he's been at times this spring, there was some doubt whether the Lightning goalie presented a weakness for his team against the Rangers. Bishop dispelled those fears with a terrific Game 1 performance, matching Lundqvist's shutout up until the final seconds of the second period. His play should be a confidence boost for Tampa Bay heading into Game 2.

2. Tampa Bay has turnover troubles

If not for Bishop, the Lightning would have entered the final frame down far more than just one goal. Tampa Bay conceded numerous out-numbered chances against in Game 1, all caused by turnovers in the offensive zone. New York is the kind of team that will pounce on mistakes, and Tampa Bay kept feeding them with blind passes on Saturday.

3. This series will have excellent pace

The Lightning and Rangers went almost seven minutes in the first period without a single whistle, a trend that manifested itself throughout the course of the game. It helps when you have two goalies pitching shutouts for most of the game, but you can probably expect that kind of torrid, uninterrupted pace going forward.