NHL·Preview

Lightning vs. Rangers: 4 things to know for Game 7

The New York Rangers are putting their undefeated Game 7 record at Madison Square Garden on the line as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning to decide the Eastern Conference final on Friday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET).

New York holds edge in deciding match against Tampa

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist brings a vast amount of Game 7 success into Friday's contest against the Lightning (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET) as New York tries to advance to the Stanley Cup final. The 33-year-old veteran already holds the NHL record for most consecutive Game 7 wins with six. In those deciding matches, he has a 6-1 record, 0.97 GAA and .966 save percentage. (Tim Clayton/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers are putting their undefeated Game 7 record at Madison Square Garden on the line as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning to decide the Eastern Conference final.

Here are four things to know for Friday's contest (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET).

Rangers lead Game 7s

New York can set an NHL record for the most consecutive Game 7 wins with a victory Friday.

The team is currently tied for that honour at six wins in a row, but can take sole possession and extend its Game 7 home record to 8-0 by defeating the Lightning. 

If the 2015 trend holds, the home team has the advantage in this match. The hosts are 3-0 in the deciding game this post-season. History is also on the Rangers' side.


Bishop, Lightning look to forget

The last time Tampa Bay went to Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final was in 2011 and it didn't end with a favourable result. 

The Lightning lost to the Boston Bruins in a 1-0 decision. With this year's first-round Game 7 win over the Detroit Red Wings, they improved to 4-1 all-time and look to erase the disappointment from four years ago.

Likewise, goalie Ben Bishop must forget being chased from the net after allowing five goals on 26 shots in Tuesday's 7-3 Game 6 loss. 


Fortunately, he rebounds well. The 28-year-old is 6-1 with a .945 save percentage and 1.42 goal-against average in games after a loss in this year's playoffs. 

Lundqvist reigns over pivotal match

Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist is unshakeable despite the pressure. The 33-year-old veteran already holds the NHL record for most consecutive Game 7 wins with six.

In those deciding matches, he has a .966 save percentage and 0.97 goals-against average with a 6-1 record. 

Facing elimination in Game 6, he held Lightning captain Steven Stamkos off the scoresheet, effectively ending a four-game scoring streak. 


Lundqvist claimed the most recent Game 7 victory, steering away 35 shots in a nail-biting 2-1 overtime game against the Washington Capitals. 

Experience vs. youth

Historically, New York has enjoyed much more success in Game 7. Three players are undefeated, as Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin each have six wins under their belt. 

Additionally, veterans Martin St. Louis, Dominic Moore and Dan Girardi have a 6-1 record in deciding games. 

With their abundance of youth, Tampa Bay still has three players that add knowledge. Anton Stralman (6-0), Brian Boyle (5-0) and Matt Carle (4-0) help balance the Lightning's seeming inexperience. 

It is the first Game 7 meeting between these two teams. 

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