Maybe Kaapo Kakko felt left out. If he did, he did something about it.
It was Kakko’s one-timer tip-in with 2:28 remaining in the second period that gave the Rangers their first lead over the Lightning on Friday night en route to a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final at the Garden.
Adam Fox, the Rangers defenseman who seems to do everything right with the puck on his stick, slid a perfect pass through a narrow window between Tampa Bay defensemen Victor Hedman and Jan Rutta to Kakko, who was waiting at the doorstep of the crease to the left of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
It happened so fast, the Tampa Bay netminder never had a chance, never saw the puck until it was behind him.
“Nice pass, Foxy,’’ the ESPN boom mic picked up Kakko saying to Fox when they got to the bench.
“ ‘Laf’ [Lafreniere] hit the post there and it was kind a little broken play,” Fox said, “and Fil [Chytil] made a great pass to me and I just tried to get that defensemen [Hedman and Rutta] to move out of the lane a little bit and a great tip by Kaapo there.”
It had to be a nice feeling for Kakko, who probably felt a little left out with his linemates making more headlines of late with big plays.
Kakko, one-third of the Rangers’ energetic, difference-making, headline-stealing, goal-scoring Kid Line, hadn’t scored a goal since Game 3 of the first-round series against Pittsburgh.