Ondrej Palat the hero with last minute goal

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The NHL came down on Evander Kane, giving him a one-game suspension for boarding the Avalanche’s Nazem Kadri on Saturday.

It was of small consequence to the Avs as Kadri is gone for at least the rest of the Western Conference Final and perhaps longer with an undisclosed injury. Look for JT Compher to take over Kadri’s role as the second line center with Colorado in the absence of Kadri.

Patrice Bergeron had surgery on his elbow Tuesday as he needed to repair a tendon. He is expected to be on the sidelines for 10-12 weeks and should be ready for the start of training camp, if he decides to return for a 19th season. Whether or not that will take place is up in the air as Bergeron is a pending UFA and while the only team he will consider is the Bruins, it is possible he will retire.

Bergeron won his fifth Selke Trophy Sunday as the NHL’s best defensive forward, beating out Elias Lindholm and Aleksander Barkov. With the win, Bergeron passed Bob Gainey for first place all-time in Selke Trophies.

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TAMPA BAY 3 NEW YORK RANGERS 2 (New York leads the best-of-seven series 2-1)

Well, that could be a dagger in the hearts of the Rangers.

The Rangers waltzed into Tampa Bay and took a 2-0 lead but saw it evaporate and then lose it with only 41.6 seconds left in the third as Ondrej Palat took a gorgeous pass from Nikita Kucherov and beat Igor Shesterkin glove side to give the Lightning a 3-2 win.

You could not blame Shesterkin for this loss as the Rangers goalkeeper was outstanding, stopping 49-of-52 shots. Shesterkin has outplayed Andrei Vasilevskiy in this series and while the Lightning won on Sunday, Shesterkin was the star of the show.

Shesterkin is 10-6 in the post-season, with a 2.62 GAA and a .930 save percentage. He saw his four-game winning streak come to an end.

After a scoreless first period in which the Lightning outshot the Rangers 15-12, New York scored on the power play when Mika Zibanejad one-timed a pass from Adam Fox, over the blocker of Vasilevskiy and into the net.

Chris Kreider made it 2-0, also on the power play when he banged home a rebound off a Zibanejad shot and it looked like the Rangers were headed towards a 3-0 series lead.

But cue the comeback.

The Lightning quickly went on the power play and Victor Hedman set up Nikita Kucherov in the faceoff circle as his shot went through Shesterkin’s legs. Hedman’s assist was his 100th career playoff point, the 104th player in NHL history to do so.

The Lightning entered the third period down 2-1 but evened the score at the 1:22 mark when Steven Stamkos blasted the puck on a one-timer, past Shesterkin. Corey Perry set him up nicely and that eventually set the stage for Palat’s winner.

Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots for his ninth win against five defeats. The Tampa Bay goalie has a 2.54 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

Kucherov had two assists in addition to his goal. He has six goals and 20 points in the playoffs, good for fifth in NHL scoring.

Hedman also had a pair of assists as did Artemi Panarin for the Rangers.

Jacob Trouba and Kucherov each had three minor penalties.

Stamkos led all players with six shots on goal.

Pat Maroon and Trouba each had six hits.

Kreider’s goal was his 34th playoff marker for the Rangers, tying New York great Rod Gilbert for the all-time team lead.

Ryan Strome suffered a lower-body injury in the second period when he took a crosscheck from Palat and did not return. There was no update after the contest.

Game 4 will be in Tampa Bay on Tuesday with the Lightning looking to equalize the best-of-seven series at two apiece.

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Chris Kreider – 1

Mika Zibanejad – 1

Nikita Kucherov – 1

Steven Stamkos – 1

Ondrej Palat – 1


Artemi Panarin – 2

Nikita Kucherov – 2

Victor Hedman – 2

Shots on Goal

Steven Stamkos – 6

Mika Zibanejad – 5

Alex Killorn – 5

Brandon Hagel – 5

Nikita Kucherov – 5

Ryan McDonagh – 5


Pat Maroon – 6

Jacob Trouba – 6

Penalty Minutes

Nikita Kucherov – 6

Jacob Trouba – 6

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