Rangers surge past Lightning in Game 1 of Eastern Final

Rangers surge past Lightning in Game 1 of Eastern Final

NEW YORK — Filip Chytil scored twice and was among six players with two points for the New York Rangers, who defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

It is the first series lead the Rangers have had in these Stanley Cup Playoffs; they won each of the first two rounds in seven games.

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is here Friday.

Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and an assist, and Alexis Lafreniere and adam fox each had two assists for the Rangers, the No. 2 seed in the Metropolitan Division. Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves.

New York has won seven straight home playoff games.

Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist, Ondrej Palat scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves for the Lightning, the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay, which had won six straight, had not played since May 23.

The Lightning allowed six goals after allowing three in a four-game sweep of the Florida Panthers in the second round.

Chytil made it 3-2 at 10:09 of the second period from the left hash marks off a pass from Kaapo Kakko, who was behind the net. Chytil scored his second from the right circle to make it 4-2 at 15:43. He has five goals in his past three games.

Chris Kreider gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead 1:11 into the first period, scoring in front on a pass from Zibanejad, who was in the right face-off circle.

Stamkos tied it 1-1 at 7:18 with a slap shot from the top of the slot.

Vatrano made it 2-1 at 7:50, picking up a loose puck and sending a wrist shot over Vasilevskiy’s right shoulder. Palat tied it 2-2 42 seconds later at 8:32 on the rebound of a shot by Stamkos.

Panarin gave the Rangers a 5-2 lead 30 seconds into the third period, and Zibanejad scored a power-play goal for the 6-2 final at 6:06.

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