NEW YORK — The New York Rangers proved they aren’t the same team the Tampa Bay Lightning dominated in the regular season when they won Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals 2-1 on Saturday
Dominic Moore scored with 2:25 to play and the Rangers moved to within three wins of returning to the Stanley Cup finals.
The game-winning goal came just 30 seconds after Moore stepped out of the penalty box, and it capped another nail-biter for the Rangers, who have played 15 consecutive one-goal games in the postseason.
The Rangers have won nine games this postseason, and have seven victories by a 2-1 score.
The series opener was unlike any of the three games between the Rangers and Lightning in the regular season. Tampa Bay won all three by a combined 15-7 margin.
Derek Stepan, who scored the Game 7 winner against Washington on Wednesday, also scored and Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves.
Ondrej Palat tied the game on a power-play goal early in the third period. Ben Bishop had 28 saves for the Lightning in losing to New York for the first time in nine games.
Game 2 will be played at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer