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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Friday, May 29

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FRIDAY RESULT

Home Team in Caps

Tampa Bay 2, NY RANGERS 0 – TBL wins series 4-3

BISHOP, LIGHTNING PUNCH TICKET TO STANLEY CUP FINAL

Ben Bishop made 22 saves in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2-0 win Friday at Madison Square Garden in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers, clinching their second all-time appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.

* The Lightning, who have won six of their past seven visits to the Garden (regular season and playoffs) dating to Jan. 14, 2014 (2-1 W), reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in their history. Tampa Bay’s previous appearance was in 2004, when they defeated the Calgary Flames in seven games to capture their first Stanley Cup.

* Bishop improved to 12-8 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 2.15 goals-against average, a .920 save percentage and three shutouts. Bishop also improved to 12-3-0 with four shutouts in 15 career decisions vs. NYR (regular season and playoffs).

* Alex Killorn opened the scoring at 1:54 of the third period with his seventh goal of the postseason. The goal stood as his second career game-winning goal in the playoffs and his first career series-clinching goal. Killorn has registered 7-9—16 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs (20 GP).

* Ondrej Palat also scored his seventh goal of the postseason. Palat has registered 7-8—15 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs (20 GP).

* Tyler Johnson (0-1—1) leads the League with 12-9—21 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs (20 GP). Valtteri Filppula (0-1—1) has posted 1-6—7 in eight career Game 7s (5-3).

* The Lightning will face the Anaheim Ducks or Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. Tampa Bay has never faced either team in the postseason.

* ICYMI: Click here to watch Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos accept the Prince of Wales Trophy on behalf of the Lightning following the victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: BEN BISHOP

Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau:

* Bishop also stopped all 31 shots he faced in the Lightning’s series-clinching Game 7 win against the Detroit Red Wings in the first round, which was his first career Game 7. He became the first goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout in each of his first two career Game 7s.

* In fact, Bishop became the third goaltender in NHL history to record two Game 7 shutouts in a single playoff year. He joined the Colorado Avalanche’s Patrick Roy (2002) and the Boston BruinsTim Thomas (2011).

* Bishop also registered his third assist of the postseason. He became the 10th goaltender in NHL history to record three or more points in a single postseason and the first to do so since the New Jersey DevilsMartin Brodeur recorded four assists in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* Bishop recorded one of his previous assists in the Lightning’s series-clinching win against the Red Wings in the first round. He became the only goaltender in NHL history to record a point in two Game 7s in a single playoff year.

TAMPA BAY IN GAME 7s

* The Lightning contested their second Game 7 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, improving to 2-0 this postseason after also eliminating the Red Wings in the first round (2-0 W).

* Tampa Bay boasts a 5-1 all-time record in Game 7, including a 2-1 record on the road. Friday’s contest marked the first Game 7 in franchise history that was decided by more than one goal, or two goals following an empty-net tally. The Lightning’s lone loss in a Game 7 came during their previous appearance in the Eastern Conference Final, in 2011 at BOS (1-0 L).

* Twelve Lightning players have never suffered a Game 7 loss, including nine who made their Game 7 debuts in the first round: Anton Stralman (7-0); Brian Boyle (6-0); Matthew Carle (5-0); and Ben Bishop, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Nesterov, Ondrej Palat, Cedric Paquette and Andrej Sustr (2-0). Stralman accumulated five of his Game 7 victories with the Rangers from 2012-14, and Boyle earned four such wins with the Rangers in that span.

2015 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS BRACKET CHALLENGE

Among the more than 800,000 entries for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung, 11.72 percent picked the Lightning to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Only 898 brackets (0.11%) have correctly selected the winner of all 13 series that have been completed this far in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

GAME 7 TRENDS

Road teams improved to 66-94 (.413) in 160 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 1-3 mark this year.

The team that scores the first goal improved to 118-42 (.738) in 160 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 3-1 clip this year. The lone loss was in the second round, when the Rangers overcame a 1-0 deficit to eliminate the Capitals.

LOOSE PUCKS

New York’s streak of consecutive Game 7 victories ended at six, which is tied for the longest such streak in NHL history with the Red Wings from 1949-64 and the Bruins from 1983-94... The Rangers also suffered their first Game 7 loss in franchise history at Madison Square Garden, falling to 7-1... Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist had his streak of consecutive Game 7 victories end at six, which is an NHL record for goaltenders. At 6-2 overall, Lundqvist is tied with Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy for the most Game 7 victories by any goaltender in NHL history... New York’s streak of consecutive victories when facing elimination at home ended at 10, which is an NHL record... Click here to watch the Lightning celebrate their Game 7 victory... ICYMI: Click here to watch the NHL’s national TV spot for the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, “Name.”

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