The conference finals in this year’s Stanley Cup had to be decided by two game seven after Rangers and Chicago tied the series in the sixth game. Four teams had to be cut down to two that will fight for the Stanley Cup Championship 2015. New York Rangers and Anaheim had the home team advantage against Tampa Bay and Chicago. That didn’t help.
New York Rangers 0-2 Tampa Bay
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist and New York Rangers are known to be hard to beat in game seven. That plus home team advantage in Madison Square Garden was factors that made many, including us, believe in Ranger victory in this decisive game. We were wrong. The first period ended with no goals. Rangers started with some pressure against Tampas net but the feeling was that Lightnings worked their way into the game and got the upper hand. Lundqvist had to do a number of saves on odd bounces. In the second period Rangers got the chance to score in a couple of power plays but didn’t convert. In the third period, they couldn’t resist Tampa’s strong offensive play. Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat scored a goal each and Rangers none. Game over Rangers, Tampa Bay to the final, fair and square.
Anaheim 3-5 Chicago
Heavy Anaheim Ducks against play off veteran Chicago Blackhawks. Last time the Ducks were in a final was in 2007 when they won against Ottawa. However, they have lost three straight game seven. Chicago was champions in 2010 and 2013. That was then. In game seven of the 2015 conference final Jonathan Toews gave Chicago the go ahead goal in the first period. Later in the same period, they increased the lead to 2-0 in power play. Anaheim got their chances but Corey Crawford in Chicago’s net came out on top with some good saves. One and a half-minute into the second period Chicago scored the third goal of the game. Later on, Marian Hossa showed some football skilled, skating in the puck to 4-0. Anaheim got a comforting goal through Jakob Silfverberg in the end of the second period. In the middle of the third period Anaheim got their hopes up thanks to a beautiful goal by Corey Perry, assisted by Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Maroon. However, Chicago answered in power play: 5-2. Anaheim got the last goal, making the final score 5-3, but never came closer than that. Chicago won the game thanks to a better goalie and lots of traffic on net. A winning recipe that can make them go all the way this year.
Schedule for the final
Tampa Bay reached the final after finishing fifth in the total NHL standings, third in the eastern conference and second in the atlantic division. In the play offs they eliminated Detroit 4-3, Montreal 4-2 and New York Rangers 4-3.
Chicago reached the final after finishing seventh in the total NHL standings, fourth in the western conference and third in the central division. In the play offs they eliminated Nashville 4-2, Minnesota 4-0 and Anaheim 4-3.
The final games are played the following dates:
3 June: Chicago @ Tampa Bay
6 June: Chicago @ Tampa Bay
8 June: Tampa Bay @ Chicago
10 June: Tampa Bay @ Chicago
13 June: Chicago @ Tampa Bay
15 June: Tampa Bay @ Chicago
17 June: Chicago @ Tampa Bay