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Lightning Tie Series With Win Over Rangers

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Rangers in decisive fashion on Tuesday night to tie the Eastern Conference final at two games apiece.
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The playing field is even once again. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to look much more like their back-to-back Stanley Cup champion selves as the series wears on, beating the New York Rangers by a convincing 4-1 score on Tuesday night to tie the Eastern Conference final at two games apiece. 

Despite the Rangers pulling off a rare feat by their own standards and out-shooting their opponent, it was actually the Lightning that took advantage of every opportunity that went their way this time, capitalizing on Igor Shesterkin's first average performance in weeks to cruise to victory. 

Ondrej Palat continued his torrid play of late with a three-point night, setting up Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov for both of their goals before sealing the game with an empty-netter of his own late in the third period. Palat is now up to three goals and five points in four games so far this series, giving the Lightning a crucial element of secondary scoring behind their big guns that has certainly helped them roar back from an early deficit.

In net, Andrei Vasilevskiy kept his return to form rolling along, stopping 34 of the 35 shots the Rangers threw at him to keep the game well out of reach, never letting New York's increased offensive attack find any rhythm as they were continuously denied on a few grade-A chances. 

For the Rangers, this series has followed a similar blueprint to their previous one, with the home team winning each game thus far and clearly benefitting from the cozy confines of their own building. The Rangers managed to overcome home-ice advantage by finally besting the Hurricanes on the road in Game 7 to advance not too long ago. The divisional seeding means that this series' Game 7, if necessary, will be played at Madison Square Garden, offering a distinct advantage. Gerrard Gallant and his group, however, are obviously hoping it doesn't get there. 

With the series even once again, all bets are off as both teams head back to the Big Apple for Game 5. It's safe to say the Rangers' faithful will be out in full force for that one. 

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