Friday, April 19

Conference final: Lightning-Rangers Game 3 live updates


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The Lightning outshot the Rangers 15-12 in the first period, but the teams are locked in a scoreless tie in the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final at Amalie Arena.

Tampa Bay seeks its first win of the series after dropping the first two games at Madison Square Garden.

While the situation isn’t ideal for the Lightning, it isn’t dire, either. The Rangers came back from two-game deficits to beat both the Penguins and the Hurricanes in the first two rounds.

Tampa Bay again is without star forward Brayden Point, who has been missing from the lineup since Game 7 of the opening round with a lower-body injury. Riley Nash replaced Cal Foote as the Lightning went with a 12-forward, six-defenseman lineup.

Follow our live updates throughout the game:

Second period

Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian (24), left, and New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) watch the play during the first period.
Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian (24), left, and New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) watch the play during the first period. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Waiting for period to start

First period

Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98), left, is seen on the ice with other players during pregame warmups.
Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98), left, is seen on the ice with other players during pregame warmups. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Jan Rutta shot wide of the net

Nikita Kucherov shot blocked by Ryan Strome

K’Andre Miller wrist shot from center point misses wide

Ryan McDonagh shot from the left sideboards saved by Igor Shesterkin

Shesterkin gloves shot from the right point

Andrei Vasilevskiy makes pad save on Andrew Copp shot from left circle

Shesterkin gloves Kucherov snap shot from left circle

Filip Chytil turnaround shot from low in right circle stopped by Vasilevskiy

K’Andre Miller shoots wide from left circle

Vasilevskiy makes right pad save on Vincent Trouba blast from right circle after McDonagh turnover

McDonagh shot saved blocked away by Shesterkin

Kucherov shot from short side saved by Shesterkin

Stamkos shot misses high and wide

Kucherov penalized for high-sticking against Artemi Panarin

Chris Kreider has a couple of chances from in front

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare holds in the puck in the Rangers zone

Erik Cernak intercepts a pass in the neutral zone and sends puck down the ice

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Anthony Cirelli clears the puck out of the zone

Copp shot from left circle goes off Vasilevskiy’s glove and out of the zone

Trouba blast caroms off McDonagh

Shesterkin robs Kucherov on breakaway right out of the box

Follow all the action on and off the ice

Follow all the action on and off the ice

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Trouba blocks Kucherov shot

Vasilevskiy stops Goodrow, Motte and Reaves from point-blank range

Shesterkin makes pad save on Bogosian shot and Maroon rebound attempt

Shesterkin stops Brandon Hagel chance from edge of the crease

Hedman breaks up Trouba pass for Copp on 2-on-1

Panarin shot from right circle blocked by sprawling Hedman

Vasileskiy fights off shot from Trouba from the right point that bounces and skips on him

Ross Colton shot misses wide

Stamkos shot from the slot knocked down and swept into the corner by Shesterkin

(Scoreless tie after one period)

Pregame scouting report

Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) blocks the puck as Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) attempts to score during the third period of Game 2. New York center Tyler Motte (64) and defenseman K'Andre Miller (79) join the play.
Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) blocks the puck as Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) attempts to score during the third period of Game 2. New York center Tyler Motte (64) and defenseman K’Andre Miller (79) join the play. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Have the Lightning finally met their match?

Certainly, there are things in the Rangers’ style of play that mirror the Lightning’s.

They play a tight defensive game and are highly disciplined. They take few risks, which limits odd-man rushes. When things do break down, they have a top-of-the-line goaltender to back them up.

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Two games into the series, the Rangers have done a better job of impersonating the Lightning than the two-time defending champions have, pushing the Bolts to within two losses of playoff elimination.

Related: Lightning ushers relish first season with full arena since start of pandemic

Of course, the Lightning have been their own worst enemy too often in this series. They’ve had trouble managing the puck and missed coverage assignments. They’ve spent too much time in the penalty box.

The good news is that they seemed to rediscover important parts of their game over the final period-plus of Game 2, which they lost 3-2.

They became more active on their skates. Their passing improved. They got pucks behind the Rangers defense, won battles and started their cycle game, resulting in more offensive-zone time.

They had the bulk of the possession time in the third period and outshot the Rangers 14-6. Nick Paul’s goal with a sixth attacker on the ice brought them within one, and only a Jacob Trouba block of a Steven Stamkos shot kept the Lightning from tying the game in the final minute.

Related: Game 2 report card: Streak ends, series goes on

In many ways, it was reminiscent of Game 3 of the opening-round series against Toronto. Tampa Bay lost 5-2 but seemed to rediscover missing parts of its game: getting players to the front of the net, putting shots on goal, keeping pucks alive and generating second and third chances.

The Lightning came within a goal of rallying from a three-score deficit before allowing two late empty-net goals. More importantly, they sustained that level of play for the remainder of the series, winning three of the final four games to eliminate the Maple Leafs.

Can they do it again with a Stanley Cup Final berth on the line?

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Follow our live updates, starting at 3 p.m., as the Bolts seek their first win of the series and to avoid falling within a game of playoff elimination.

Game day scene

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