NEW YORK — The only history the Tampa Bay Lightning were interested in was what they would create.

Such as handing the New York Rangers their first Game 7 loss at Madison Square Garden, which they did Friday night with their second straight 2-0 road victory behind Ben Bishop’s 22 saves.

Such as heading to their second Stanley Cup final.

Such as going 9-0 when scoring first in this postseason, which they did when Alex Killorn slipped a backhander under Henrik Lundqvist early in the third period.

Bishop, pulled from a Game 6 loss after allowing five goals, did much of the rest, and Ondrej Palat iced it with 8:43 to go.

The Lightning, who won the Cup in 2004 in a seventh game over Calgary, allowed only four goals in as many games at the Garden.

“For whatever reason that was probably the most calm Game 7 I’ve ever been a part of,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “And not just for me, but on the bench. Going into the third, we were just loose.

“We knew we were playing the game the right way, we knew we were going to get one.”

New York had the NHL’s best record this season and was 15-3 in its last 18 elimination games. The most recent defeat was in the fifth game of the Cup finals last year at Los Angeles. But Bishop made sure there would be another loss for the Rangers, extending his shutout string at the Garden to 145 minutes, 43 seconds.

“It’s painful,” Lundqvist said.

Bishop’s teammates stormed off the bench to mob him after his last save of the night. The crowd chanted “Hen-rik! Hen-rik!” as the teams lined up to shake hands, and Lundqvist looked stunned and downhearted as he took part in the tradition. Lundqvist has won six Game 7s, tied for most by any goalie.

RYAN GETZLAF and Jonathan Toews agree that the pain of a Game 7 defeat in the playoffs doesn’t really go away.

Instead, good players use that failure to get better while they wait for another chance to take hockey’s ultimate test.

One year after the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks both exited the playoffs with a loss in a seventh game, they’re facing off in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday night at Honda Center.

After two weeks of brilliant, bruising hockey, Toews and Getzlaf don’t plan to say much in the dressing rooms before their teams meet for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final.

Both captains believe their clubs need no extra motivation to conclude this remarkable series with a big finish.

“We’ve been through the experiences now,” Getzlaf said Friday after a spirited Ducks practice. “We have to use them the way we need to. That’s the biggest thing. I’ve always believed that you learn a lot from losing.”

The Ducks have just one regulation loss in the entire postseason, but it was in Game 6, a 5-2 defeat that might have turned the series’ momentum in the Blackhawks’ favor heading back to Orange County.

“You try to will your way to the win,” Toews said. “And given that passion we have in our team, we’re feeling pretty good about our chances.”

DON’T EXPECT an announcement from the Red Wings about their next coach as long as their Grand Rapids affiliate is still in the AHL playoffs, says General Manager Ken Holland.

Grand Rapids Coach Jeff Blashill has been an obvious candidate to take over in Detroit from the moment coach Mike Babcock left for Toronto.

THE COYOTES reinstated radio analyst Nick Boynton on Friday, two months after the former NHL defenseman was suspended following his arrest at a Buffalo, New York, casino.


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