It was, apparently, all the offense that the Rangers had left in the tank.
In stark contrast to their dominant 7-3 Game 6 win on Tuesday, New York only managed to muster up a measly 22 shots and an even worse zero goals as they were shutout 2-0 in the seventh, and deciding, game of the series. The Lightning now advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, their first appearance there since 2004, where they will face the eventual winner of the Chicago Blackhawks – Anaheim Ducks series over in the Western Conference Finals.
It was not a pretty night whatsoever for the Rangers, despite having home ice advantage on their side. The Lightning didn’t exactly blow the doors off the game, generating only 25 shots of their own, but the did have a deciding edge in terms of actual scoring chances:
— A.C. Thomas (@acthomasca) May 30, 2015
When looking to place the blame for the Rangers’ lackluster outing, it starts from the top. Rick Nash, who had truly stepped up his play over the past few games, was completely invisible on Friday night, generating only one shot on net in 21:58 of ice time. Veteran Martin St. Louis also had just one shot on net. Derick Brassard had four shots while Derek Stepan had three, but barely any of those were of a real challenge for Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop.
A team having one below average game is entirely reasonable and nothing out of the ordinary, but the Rangers couldn’t have picked a worse time to have one of their worst showings of this year’s playoffs. It’s going to be a long summer.