The Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2004 after defeating the New York Rangers 2-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday night. They won it all in their last Finals appearance, defeating the Calgary Flames in seven games.
Friday’s game was scoreless through the first two periods then the Lightning broke the 0-0 tie 1:54 into the third period. Alex Killorn netted his seventh goal of the postseason to get Tampa Bay on the board. About 10 minutes later, Ondrej Palat extended the Lightning lead to two.
Tampa Bay held on thanks to a 22-save shut out by goaltender Ben Bishop, who bounced-back after a shaky Game 6 performance to carry his team to victory.
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist lost the first Game 7 of his career, he was previously 6-0 in Game 7s. He was also 10-0 in elimination playoff games at Madison Square Garden.
The Lightning await the winner of Saturday night’s Western Conference Final Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. No matter the outcome, the Stanley Cup Final opens the evening of June 3. If the Ducks win, Game 1 will be in Anaheim. If the Blackhawks win, Game 1 will be in Tampa Bay.