Stamkos takes blame for Lightning losing control in Game 6
Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos and New York Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi battle for the puck during the second period in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final of the 2015 NHL playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 26, 2015. 9Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)
Steven Stamkos blamed himself for the shift in momentum in Game 6.
The Lightning captain was looking to create something offensively early in the third period as he charged into the Rangers end, circled the net and cruised into the slot.
But as he looked for a lane to shoot, the puck was stripped from him and the Rangers zoomed the other way and restored their two goal lead.
“I screwed up a bit there on the third goal, I thought I had a pretty good look in the slot,” said Stamkos. “They went down, couldn’t get back in time. That was kind of a back breaker.
“We were pressing a little too hard to tie the game up instead of maybe taking care of business in our own end knowing that we’d get the chances later. We had some great looks in the first two periods and didn’t capitalize.
For whatever reason, once we gave up that goal we kind of fell apart. We’re going to have to rebound here.”
Stamkos believes the Lightning can win their third in a row at Madison Square Garden Friday,
“We’re not going to sit here and sulk and feel sorry for ourselves,” he said. “We have to go and win a game on the road to get to the Cup finals. We’re confident with our ability to win a game on the road.
"For whatever reason we’ve played better on the road than at home the last couple of times, so we’ll try to put a positive spin on it.”
EARLY NIGHT FOR BEN
Not only did Ben Bishop lose the goalie duel Tuesday night, he wasn’t around to see it end.
Bishop was pulled in the third period after giving up five goals on 26 shots as Tampa coach Jon Cooper had seen enough.
His replacement, Andrei Vasilevskiy, stopped six of seven shots.
It would be preposterous to think Bishop won’t be back between the Lightning pipes for Game 7.
“Coop and I have been doing this for a long time. I know the way he’s thinking,” said Bishop. “That’s just the way it is.”
Bishop, who has allowed five goals on two other occasions in this series, believed he was the victim of some tough luck Tuesday.
“We started to press a little too much there and they’re a good team,” said Bishop. “If we kind of stop thinking about your net a little bit, that’s what can happen.”
“Obviously they got a couple of bounces in the third,” added Bishop. “We played well the first 40 minutes. I thought we could have even have had the lead. Henrik (Lundqvist) played well.
"Obviously third period you’d like to re-do.”