NEW YORK – Scoring goals made the Tampa Bay Lightning one of the NHL's most entertaining teams this season. Playing defense for the first time in three games has them within a victory of the Stanley Cup Final for the second time.
Steven Stamkos set up Valtteri Filppula's go-ahead goal and scored another and the Lightning pushed the New York Rangers to the brink of playoff elimination with 2-0 victory Sunday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The shutout came after the Lightning gave up five goals in each of the past two games and allowed New York to score two power-play goals in each of the past three.
"If we're going to have any chance of winning, that's how we have to do it," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "And you look at the way sometimes you get caught up, and we did, judging our game on how many scoring chances we get, and really you should judge your game on how many you give up."
Ben Bishop, who gave up all 10 goals in the previous two games, had 26 saves in posting his second shutout and getting Tampa Bay within a win of returning to the finals for the first time since 2004.
Tampa Bay's special teams killed off four power plays in the opening 31 minutes of a scoreless game, limiting New York to four shots, and then Stamkos added a power-play goal after Filppula opened the scoring. "I think we did what the Rangers did last game: We bent, but we didn't break," said Stamkos, who has seven goals in his past 10 playoff games.
"Huge effort by our penalty kill," Cooper added. "They get that first one, who knows how this game turns."