The New York Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday to take a 2-0 lead with the series set to shift to Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, for the next two matchups.
While Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring, the Blueshirts responded with goals from K'Andre Miller, Kaapo Kakko and Mika Zibanejad to take a 3-1 lead and put the game out of reach for the Bolts.
Zibanejad now has nine goals this postseason, and his early third-period tally in Game 2 was all anyone could talk about on Friday night. Some even said that the 29-year-old is making himself a "Rangers legend" with his performance this postseason.
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Mika Zibanejad extended his home goal streak to six games. Only three players in NHL history have recorded a longer such run in a playoff year: Guy Lafleur (8 GP in 1979), Paul Coffey (7 GP in 1985) and Reggie Leach (7 GP in 1976). <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLStats?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLStats</a>: <a href="https://t.co/LP6LdYilKR">https://t.co/LP6LdYilKR</a> <a href="https://t.co/L0Qu3Jcme1">pic.twitter.com/L0Qu3Jcme1</a>
Zibanejad now has nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points in 16 playoff games. If the Rangers make, and win, the Stanley Cup Final, he has a real case to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the postseason.
Blueshirts netminder Igor Shesterkin has also been equally as important to the Rangers' playoff run, though Zibanejad has been a wrecking ball offensively and it has paid off for New York.
Game 3 between the Rangers and Lightning is set for Sunday afternoon, and the Blueshirts will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead .