The semifinal round of the Stanley Cup playoffs kicked off with a bang Saturday.
After nearly 58 minutes of hard-fought play, the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning appeared headed for overtime in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals at Madison Square Garden.
But Kevin Hayes had other plans.
At the 17:35 mark of the third period, the Rangers winger wheeled around on the left side of the net and fired a pass right at Dominic Moore, who deflected the puck off his leg and past Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop for the go-ahead score.
The referees reviewed the goal to determine if there was any kicking motion but upheld the play, and the Rangers held on for the 2-1 win to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
[tweet https://twitter.com/PeteBlackburn/status/599659197932896259 align=’center’]
Moore’s goal was his first of this season’s Stanley Cup playoffs, while Hayes — a native of Boston, Mass., tallied his fourth point of the postseason (two goals, two assists) with the helper.
The Lightning will look to even things up Monday night in Game 2.
Thumbnail photo via Frank Franklin II/Associated Press