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Stanley Cup Final
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Features

Lightning stress there's no time for letdown in Game 3

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning solved the riddle of New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final and will try to ride the momentum of the 6-2 win into Game 3 at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

Despite the strong offensive showing Monday, the Lightning don't want to be satisfied with one good performance, defenseman Victor Hedman said.

"We don't have time for a [letdown]," Hedman said. "There's four teams left and we have to stay focused and play like we did [Monday]. We took some penalties and got some momentum off those kills, and being able to score that shorthanded goal was huge. Now we're excited to go back home and play in front of our fans."

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Farrish: Rangers weren't ready for Lightning's push

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

For additional insight into the New York Rangers during the Eastern Conference Final series, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Dave Farrish to break down the action. Farrish will be checking in throughout the series.

Farrish was an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs from 2005-14. He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. He also coached 1,027 games in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Farrish, a former defenseman, played 430 games over seven seasons in the NHL.

Dave Farrish had a gut feeling before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

"It's funny because I said to my wife before the game, 'I bet you the Lightning win 6-2 tonight,'" Farrish said. "Honestly."

Farrish was spot on. The Lightning beat the Rangers 6-2 behind Tyler Johnson's hat trick that featured a shorthanded goal, a power-play goal, and an even-strength goal. Alex Killorn scored twice, Steve Stamkos had a goal, and Ben Bishop made 35 saves.

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Three keys for Ducks, Blackhawks to winning Game 2

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks made a statement with their 4-1 Game 1 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final, but they know it will mean little if they don't follow it up with another strong performance Tuesday.

"We're happy with the win, but we are going to have to be a lot better in Game 2 if we want to win that one," Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler said Monday.

Chicago, meanwhile, is a veteran club that has been through every conceivable situation, including being down in a series, during the current seven-season run which has seen it reach the Western Conference Final five times and win two Stanley Cups.

For the Blackhawks, one loss is no reason to panic. But they know they will have to be better in Game 2 at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). If they can steal a win Tuesday, the best-of-7 series goes to Chicago with the Blackhawks owning home-ice advantage.

"We have to have some urgency right here right now, and try to put some pressure on them in their building and go home feeling good about ourselves," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said.

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Johnson, Lightning answer challenge with Game 2 win

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The Tampa Bay Lightning looked overmatched and out of place on the big stage of the Eastern Conference Final in Game 1 on Saturday. They jumped on Tyler Johnson's diminutive shoulders in Game 2 on Monday and looked like they could be good enough to win the Stanley Cup in a 6-2 victory against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"In Game 1, we participated in the hockey game," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, "and in Game 2 we came to win a hockey game. That was the difference."

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Rangers hit the road after another home split

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The good news for the New York Rangers is that they've traveled this road before in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

For the third straight series, the Rangers hit the road after splitting the first two games at Madison Square Garden. The Tampa Bay Lightning evened the Eastern Conference Final on Monday with a 6-2 victory in Game 2. Game 3 is scheduled Wednesday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Rangers found themselves in a 1-1 series deadlock with the Pittsburgh Penguins before winning three straight games in the Eastern Conference First Round. They split the first two games against the Washington Capitals in the second round, then fell behind 3-1 before winning the series in seven games.

But each of the games in the opening two rounds was decided by one goal. In contrast, the Lightning became the first team this spring to score more than four goals against New York. Tampa Bay won the special-teams battle, going 3-for-6 on the power play and scoring a shorthanded goal.

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Special teams help Lightning win Game 2, tie series

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman knew what he was talking about going into the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers.

"I said before the series I think special teams [were] going to be a difference-maker in this series, and tonight [the Rangers] scored two power-play goals. … We scored three and one [shorthanded goal], so that's huge," Hedman said. "That's going to give you momentum."

The Lightning rode the momentum from those four special-teams goals to even the best-of-7 series with a 6-2, Game 2 win at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

Game 3 is at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Monday, May 18

Tuesday, 05.19.2015 / 12:20 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations

JOHNSON POSTS HAT TRICK TO EVEN SERIES WITH RANGERS

Tyler Johnson scored a shorthanded goal and a power-play goal in the first period and added an even-strength goal for his first career hat trick in the postseason, helping the Tampa Bay Lightning even its series against the New York Rangers at 1-1.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Johnson (3-0—3) became the first player in Lightning franchise history to have a hat trick in the postseason.

* Johnson paces all scorers in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs with 11 goals and 16 points (11-5—16). Johnson’s third goal of the night also became his League-leading fourth game-winning goal of the postseason.

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Linesman Kovachik leaves Game 2 with knee injury

NHL.com

Linesman Brad Kovachik left Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final on Monday in the second period with a sprained knee after a collision along the boards.

The NHL said he will be out indefinitely.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos checked New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein, who hit Kovachik with 7:41 left in the period.

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Ducks finding success with young, skilled defense

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- Each of the past two postseasons have ended in familiar fashion for the Anaheim Ducks, a disappointing defeat in a Game 7 at Honda Center after a successful regular season.

The 2014-15 Ducks have already progressed further than the previous two teams. One of the biggest reasons is their young, skilled defensemen.

General manager Bob Murray has overhauled the defense over the past couple of seasons, moving away from a collection of low-risk veterans to a swift skating group. For a team with such high expectations, it has taken courage to commit to fielding a lineup with four defensemen who have not reached their 24th birthday, but Anaheim has been rewarded with a late-season spike in its possession statistics and a deep run in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I think with all of the young guys, we are in a good organization that lets you develop at the pace that you can do," Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. "They have great guys around the organization to help as well. There’s [Scott Niedermayer], who I talk to a lot. He’s been really good for me. Being paired with Francois [Beauchemin] has been great too as a veteran guy to kind of rely on. They’ve been doing a great job of shaping us the way they want."

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Blackhawks may make change on defense for Game 2

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

ANAHEIM -- The Chicago Blackhawks may make a change on their blue line for Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks.

Although Chicago coach Joel Quenneville refused to confirm it Monday, multiple signs point to journeyman Kyle Cumiskey replacing David Rundblad, who had a rugged Game 1 as a replacement for injured Michal Rozsival.

Game 2 is Tuesday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). Anaheim leads the best-of-7 series 1-0 after winning 4-1 on Sunday.

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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres