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ECF GAME 7 Preview and Live Thread - May 29

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Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers, Game 7

Series Tied 3-3


After weeks of jockeying for position and trading wins back and forth, it all comes down to this. One single game to decide whether the Tampa Bay Lightning or the New York Rangers will move on to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Lightning had a chance to close out the series at home in Game 6, but Derick Brassard, Rick Nash and J.T. Miller led the Rangers charging into Amalie Arena and out to an early 2 goal lead.  With their season on the line, the Rangers poured on the offense and finished with a 7-3 victory to force Game 7. Brassard led the way with a hattrick and two assists, while Nash and Miller potted 4 points each and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 36 of 39. Now they head back to Madison Square Garden with all the momentum in the world, home ice advantage, and the best goalie still standing in this year's playoffs.

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Rangers Key to the Game: Grind it out and keep this a low scoring, low shooting event. Don't play high octane offensive hockey with a team you can't match offensively and instead rely on Henrik Lundqvist to out-duel Ben Bishop in a game where neither goalie sees much action.

Lightning Key to the Game: Production from multiple lines. The "triplets" line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat have to produce on the same night as Steven Stamkos and Valterri Filpulla. The Lightning's biggest asset is their balanced attack, but the Rangers have shut half the equation down in the latter part of the series.