The New York Rangers used an offensive show of force and 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road to push the Eastern Conference Final to a Game 7.
Derick Brassard led the way for the Rangers, scoring a hat trick and registering three assists in the rout. With the series knotted up at 3-3, the and Rangers will play Game 7 in Madison Square Garden on Friday.
New York began the goal deluge early when Brassard broke free and slipped the puck between Lightning goalie Ben Bishop's pads to break open the scoring. Keith Yandle would add another for New York late in the period, but a power play opportunity allowed Ryan Callahan to get the Lightning on the board.
For a while, it appeared the Lightning were beginning to gain an edge. Steven Stamkos soon laid a couple of big hits and earned a prime scoring chance that forced Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist to make a great save. But everything unraveled for Tampa Bay in the third period.
In the span of four minutes, J.T. Miller, James Sheppard and Brassard all scored for New York to widen the Rangers' lead and chase Bishop from the net. Nikita Kucherov scored twice for Tampa Bay to try and close the gap, but a goal from Rick Nash and hat trick goal from Brassard sealed a 7-3 rout for the Rangers in Game 6.
3 things we learned
1. Derick Brassard was a catalyst
For a third-line forward playing a checking role, Brassard was a key reason why the Rangers lived to fight another day. He scored three goals, assisted on three more and had a hand in the Rangers' sixth goal as well. It was a superior performance that ultimately forced Game 7.
2. Bishop had a forgettable night
To be fair, the Lightning didn't do a quality job clearing up scoring chances in front of him. But Bishop's evening was nothing to write home about either way; he gave up five goals on just 26 shots before getting pulled in the third period.
3. New York gains momentum
The Rangers enter Game 7 with loads of confidence after routing the Lightning twice in the series, both times coming off big losses on the road. Now they get to finish on their own ice, against a Lightning team that could be questioning themselves after an up-and-down series. Then again, considering the roller-coaster the series has been, the Lightning could end up making everyone forget Game 6 ever happened.