NEW YORK -- The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Rangers 2-0 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. The Lightning now have a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven series.
How it happened: The Lightning got goals from Valtteri Filppula and Steven Stamkos en route to victory. For Stamkos, it was his fourth consecutive game with a goal and he now has seven in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It's a complete turnaround for the Tampa captain. He went the first eight games without a goal and now has seven in the past 10. After Filppula gave Tampa a 1-0 lead at 13:29 of the second period, the Rangers took an ill-timed penalty in the waning minutes of the period, and the Lightning capitalized. Tampa used tic-tac-toe, tape-to-tape passing while on the man-advantage and Stamkos finished with the tally at 18:22. Tampa goalie Ben Bishop, who had allowed a combined 10 goals in the previous two games, finished with a 26-save shutout performance. Special teams played a major role for the Lightning, too. Tampa went a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill through the first two periods in keeping New York's power play at bay. The Lightning were opportunistic on their chances and it proved crucial.
What it means: Tampa is one victory away from advancing to the Stanley Cup finals to face either the Anaheim Ducks or the Chicago Blackhawks (the Western Conference finals are tied at 2-2). The Rangers will attempt to stave off elimination with a win in Game 6 Tuesday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
Stat of the game: The teams combined for only 10 shots in the first period, but neither team registered a shot in the final 9:12 of the opening 20 minutes. The Rangers' Dan Girardi posted the final shot of the period at 10:48. The Rangers had six attempts in the remainder of the period, but the Lightning had zero. Tampa blocked six shots in the first, while New York had three.
Save of the game: With the game scoreless to start the second period, the Rangers' Keith Yandle made a costly turnover deep in the New York zone. The Lightning's Stamkos collected the loose puck and snapped off a quick shot from the slot, but Henrik Lundqvist made a glove save to stifle the quality scoring chance at 1:42 of the period.
Up next: The series shifts back to Tampa for Game 6 Tuesday (8 p.m. ET) at Amalie Arena.