Rangers can’t convert on scoring chances despite home ice

Home ice was speculated to be the elixir for the Rangers.

It was speculated to be the distinction.

The Rangers entered Thursday night time’s Game 5 on the Garden having gained their earlier eight home playoff video games, courting again to their triple-overtime loss to the Penguins of their first postseason sport.

The ambiance was there for them Thursday night time. It was all the things they wanted, coming again to their home constructing after two losses in Tampa that had knotted the sequence at 2-2.

The home crowd, at full-throttle, full-throat from pregame warm-ups on, held nothing again because it tried to will the Rangers to a 3-2 sequence lead heading again to Tampa for a Saturday night time Game 6 at Amalie Arena.

The Rangers, who left the Garden six nights earlier than with 2-0 sequence lead, got here out of the locker room with vitality. Their forechecking, one thing that had been missing in Tampa, appeared extra dedicated, their hits appeared like they’d extra weight and want-to than they did in Tampa.

Artemi Panarin's shot is stopped by Andrei Vasilevskiy during the Rangers' 3-1 Game 5 loss to the Lightning.
Artemi Panarin’s shot is stopped by Andrei Vasilevskiy throughout the Rangers’ 3-1 Game 5 loss to the Lightning.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

In the top, although, the Rangers merely couldn’t end within the offensive zone and, because of this their season is one street loss away from being completed after a devastating 3-1 loss on an Ondrej Palat purpose with 1:50 remaining.

The distinction on this night time was the Rangers’ lack of ability to complete their chances.

Their first good scoring likelihood got here midway by the primary interval when Filip Chytil missed the web from proper in entrance of Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy on a nifty Kaapo Kakko cross.

About two minutes later, Tampa’s Nicholas Paul beat Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin to his left facet however the puck flushed the left put up.

With about 5 minutes remaining within the first interval, Rangers winger Artemi Panarin, who’s been starved for a purpose, had an amazing look to Vasilevskiy’s proper facet and hit him within the shoulder with a wrist shot. Chytil had an opportunity from shut in with a rebound that was saved by the Tampa Bay goalie.

After play was stopped, Panarin had an exasperated look on his face, as if to say, “When is one thing going to go in for us?’’

The Rangers completed the primary interval with simply eight photographs, however they’d just a few high quality scoring chances. The Lightning had solely three photographs on web, however they hit the put up twice.

The Rangers missed some chances within the second interval, too, with Mika Zibanejad taking a cross from Chris Kreider and lacking an open web.

The Rangers lastly broke by with a Ryan Lindgren purpose — a wrister that whistled previous Vasilevskiy excessive on his proper blocker facet (his kryptonite on this sequence). The purpose ended a maddening streak of 169 minutes and eight seconds with out an even-strength purpose for the Rangers, courting again to Game 2.

“There’s additionally a way of consolation for gamers enjoying at home,’’ Rangers defenseman Adam Fox mentioned earlier than the sport.

The Rangers left their home constructing Thursday night time feeling very uncomfortable about the place they stand on this sequence.

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