NHL

Rangers beat Lightning, 7-3, to force a Game 7

New York Rangers beat Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-3, to force Game 7

TAMPA, Fla. — Derick Brassard had a hat trick and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 36 shots in another season-saving performance as the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-3, on Tuesday night to force Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.

Brassard also had two assists for the Rangers, who evened the series 3-3 after being shut out in Game 5 at home. Keith Yandle, James Sheppard and J.T. Miller also scored on Ben Bishop, who was pulled with New York leading 5-1 with just under 13 minutes remaining. Rick Nash added a power-play goal against Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brassard had an empty-netter with 1:41 to go to complete his three-goal effort.

Lundqvist was outstanding before giving up a pair of third-period goals to Nikita Kucherov. New York improved to 4-0 in elimination games this postseason, and Lundqvist is 9-1 with his team's season on the line since the start of last year's playoffs.

Game 7 is Friday night in New York, where Tampa Bay has won twice in this series.

Brassard got the Rangers off to a strong start with his first goal at 3:36 of the first period. He scored again at 7:14 of the third, chasing Bishop and finishing a stretch in which New York scored three times in just over four minutes.

Nash finished with a goal and three assists. Yandle had a goal and an assist, and Miller finished with his first goal in 22 career playoffs games, plus three assists.

Ryan Callahan scored for Tampa Bay in the first period, but the Rangers did a good job of limiting opportunities for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who only got off two shots after scoring in four consecutive games.

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