Filip Chytil’s 2 goals led Rangers’ ‘Kid Line’ as they put in another stellar performance on Wednesday to power the Blue Shirts into their lopsided 6-2 win over the Lightning in Game 1 of the Premier League Final. Eastern Conference.
Nicknamed for their young age, the trio – consisting of Chytil, 22, Alexis Lafrenière, 20 and Kaapo Kakko, 21 – totaled 5 points, including 3 assists in the game-winning match.
“They came back, they scored great goals, they made good plays and they’re attacking,” said head coach Gerard Gallant. “They’re a confident bunch of kids right now, and we need that to continue.”
Line center Chytil scored the team’s 3rd goal of the game to take a 3–2 lead just over 10 minutes into the 2nd period with assists from his two Kid Line partners, before turning on another score 5:34 later to put the team by 2 on a one-timer from K’Andre Miller. Lafrenière recorded the secondary pass on that shot.
STOP US IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE
BUT THE CHILDREN ARE WELL pic.twitter.com/PWfis4EZlT
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) June 2, 2022
Kid Line’s change when Chytil scored his 2nd goal saw the Blue Shirts keep the puck in the Tampa Bay zone for more than a minute in a rowwhile registering 6 shots on goal before finding the back of the net – although the defending champion Lightning is known for controlling the puck and the flow of the game.
“I’m really happy with how we’re growing with every game,” Chytil said before the match. “It’s the first playoffs for all three of us, so we’re just playing hard, playing for our team. We scored important goals, so it’s a great experience for the three of us.
“Fil is a good boy,” Gallant said. “He works hard, he competes hard and he deserves what he’s getting right now – he’s stepped up his game, and he knows it, everyone knows it. That’s exactly what we need from him.
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After the game, Chytil said his frustrations at the start of the season, when he went for long spells with few points, forced him to work harder on his game – and it clicked at the right time for the team. who is looking to land a ticket to the Stanley. Cup.
“I’ve worked hard all season. There were tough times and so many occasions where I couldn’t put the puck in the net,” Chytil said. “Now it’s finally coming in, and I I’m so happy to be able to help the team win games.”
Gallant pointed to Chytil’s hard work for his recent flourish and said it was reflected in his level of confidence.
“He’s growing to be a man,” the coach said of his 22-year-old. “He really steps things up. Every time you watch him go out and play, he’s more confident. »
Together, the Kid Line now has 21 points in the first 15 playoff games, led by Lafrenière’s 9 and Chytil’s 8 — including 4 points in Sunday’s decisive Game 7 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Beyond filling out the stat sheet, the trio also provided a hyper-athletic spark on their 3rd line and consistently invigorated the team’s offense every time they struggled during these playoffs.
“This whole line has played well together and I’m really impressed,” said Mike Zinbanejad. “We need everyone, and they came in big for us.”
As for being lovingly called the Kid Line, however, Chytil shrugged it off with less than ringing approval.
“It does not bother me” he said. “It’s like that.”
The Rangers will stay in New York to face the Lightning in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals Friday night at Madison Square Garden.