Rangers at a familiar place, return home after a 2 road loss

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The New York Rangers are in a similar position this postseason – looking to regain momentum after dropping two games on the road.

In the first round against Pittsburgh, they returned home after falling to a 3-1 series hole and won three straight to advance. In the second round, they lost 2-0 and won four of the next five.

Now he’s back in New York with a 2-2 draw with two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, hoping to turn the tide into a game at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night (8 p.m. EDT, ESPN). Two of the last three matches will take place at home, where they have won eight in a row.

“I think we’re probably in the best of three series,” forward Andrew Kopp said Wednesday. “We’ve got two games at home. I think we played well at home.

The Rangers are looking to reinvent the offense that seems to be rolling out in the first two games when they outscore the Lightning 9-4. He was outscored 7-3 in two games in Tampa.

New York took a 2-0 lead in the middle of Game 3 before Tampa Bay scored three times. The Lightning then left the Rangers off the scoreboard, tying the series for the third period in a 4-1 win in Game 4 on Tuesday night.

“He made no mistakes. We didn’t have enough scoring opportunities,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “They didn’t create full scoring chances, but they didn’t make mistakes and I think it’s from the experience of the winning teams. They don’t give up much and that’s how you win the Stanley Cups.

The Rangers have not been discouraged by their losses on the road this season, which they are 2-7. They know what they need to improve from the last two games – play more physically and do a better job of getting scoring chances against Andrei Vasilevsky.

He will be looking for encouragement after playing in an undefeated house after falling in three overtimes in Game 1 against Pittsburgh.

“It’s the best of the three in the Eastern Conference Final and it’s something that the group is excited about,” defenseman Jacob Trouba said. “We are in a good place here and we can go home and win a game no matter what we do.”

Lightning is looking to build on the momentum he has created at home after showing a corrosive start at the start of the series after a nine-day layoff after completing a second-round sweep of Florida. Tampa Bay had won six straight before dropping the first two games against the Rangers.

Lightning turned it around in the series by tightening defensively, closing New York’s passing lanes and making most Rangers’ shots coming from the outside. Sometimes when they got close, Vasilevsky was there to close the door.

“We’ve been desperate for the last two games,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “We knew how important it was for him to come back in this series and we did it. But we can’t just sit back and be happy with it. We have to keep moving forward … I’m sure the frustration will kick in for them.

Tampa Bay, which has been playing with increased urgency – winning 10 straight playoff series in the last three postseason – was highly disciplined for getting out of the penalty box. The Rangers had just two chances in Game 4, with the league’s best power play the following season.

“He still has a formidable power play, so I talked to Captain Obvius,” Cooper said. “If you take them away from the power play, they say it probably helps your game, and they’re really right.”

Gallant knows that returning home is not enough. The Rangers need to boost their game in Game 5, and they may not be without two injured centers – Ryan Strom and Phillip Chaital.

Strom missed the 4th game with a lower back injury in the previous game. He skated but never played in pregame practices. Chaitel crossed the line midway through Tuesday night’s game after a hit by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. He missed the rest of the match with a body injury.

“It’s going to be a war,” the coach said. “I mean, we’ve been playing against a team that has had a lot of experience over the last three years and you know they’re not going to give it to us. We have to go out and take it and we have to do it.”


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