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2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs: May 22 Rangers @ Bolts

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Soccer match or track meet?

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Eastern Conference Finals schedule:

Game Date Time Location Network
4 Friday 5/22 8 PM Amalie NBCSN, CBC, TVA
5 Sunday 5/24 8 PM MSG NBCSN, CBC, TVA
*6 Tuesday 5/26 8 PM Amalie NBCSN, CBC, TVA
*7 Friday 5/29 8 PM MSG NBCSN, CBC, TVA

We've made it to game four, and it's the Friday before the US's own "Victoria Day" weekend (Memorial Day, bleep yeah!). Not only that, I'm about to hop in the car and head to Tampa for the game, so this game preview is going to be short and sweet.

The way I see it, the Lightning have managed to break open the Rangers' usual defensive system, out-skate the D, and get quality scoring chances. Not only that, they've gotten a lot more scoring chances of all quality, period. If the Rangers want to force the Bolts to play their game again, they need to figure out how to firmly contain the forward-skating D and stop the Bolts from getting those chances. Or in the words of this super-wise cartoon:

Granted, the fact that Bolts' D skates so far forward has given the Rangers far more opportunities than they're used to. Last game, the Rangers had 24 shots, five of which got through Ben Bishop. Why was that? The heat has been on Lundqvist lately, with some media pointing out that his SV% against the Lightning is pretty abysmal, with a 4.75 GAA and .840 SV% (Yowza!). Bishop, however, showed signs of flagging in this past game.

Bishop's called shaky, but he's usually not quite as shaky as people think. Last game, he WAS just as shaky as people think. Is he tired? Hurt? Hungover? Distracted by Henrik Lundqvist's gorgeous face? (Don't you know you're supposed to be faithful to Alex Killorn, Bishop?!)

I guess we'll find out tonight.

Look for: Mark Barberio in to replace injured Matt Carle, Ben Bishop to snap back into playoff mode, and the Rangers to figure out how to play their boring game again. That being said, because I'll be at the game, I predict a 2-1 Rangers victory.

Enjoy the evening of lots of hockey of all varieties, y'all!

Edit. In news of the cute, the Bolts' @BriBrows22 and his wife have a new baby.