For any team, defeating the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions seemed impossible. The New York Rangers, on the other hand, have done it twice, making them the first team to lose consecutive playoff games against the Tampa Bay Lightning since 2019.
On Friday night, goaltender Igor Shesterkin stopped 29 shots to give the Rangers a 2-0 series lead against the Lightning in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Rangers achieved multiple club and league benchmarks on their way to a 3-2 triumph.
Rangers Creates a New Milestone in NHL History
According to NHL Stats, New York has the sixth longest home winning run in a single postseason with their eighth consecutive win on home ice. The Rangers also became the 25th team in NHL history to lead the defending Stanley Cup champions 2-0 in a series.
On the individual level, Shesterkin’s dominating performance in these playoffs has put him in the company of Rangers greats Mike Richter, Henrik Lundqvist, and John Davidson as goalies with the most wins in a single playoff year, according to NHL Stats.
Richter, who won the 1994 Stanley Cup, tops that list with 16 wins.
Mika Zibanejad’s game-winning goal in the third period extended his home ice goal streak to six, making his the fourth-longest streak in a single postseason in NHL playoff history.
“Their team obviously had a good playoff streak of not losing back-to-back games, but that’s not really in our minds when we’re coming to the games,” Rangers defenseman Adam Fox said after Friday’s game.
“We’re not thinking about what streaks teams have or how they’ve done earlier. It’s right now, and we’re just trying to bring it day in and day out.”