Game 7 is what the Rangers do, of course, and Game 7 at Madison Square Garden is where they are unbeatable: 7-0 in their history of the ultimate game at home.

But former Ranger Brian Boyle isn't buying into any suggestion of some kind of Rangers mystique in Game 7s at home.

"Do you think I buy it?" Boyle responded when asked about that Thursday. "What am I doing here if I buy it? Why did I fly up from Florida if I bought it? They've obviously had success in Game 7s. It's a new year. Obviously, we're expecting their best. They've been good. It's a fun place to play. They're going to have the crowd support. We're going to try and take it away from them as quick as we can."

Like the Rangers, the Lightning already has played a Game 7 this season, beating the Detroit Red Wings in the first round, 2-0, in Tampa. And although Tampa Bay and goalie Ben Bishop don't have the track record the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist have in Game 7s, the Lightning players say they are confident that they will rise to the challenge of playing in the ultimate game of the Eastern Conference finals Friday night, with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line.

"I think this group of guys this year, when we've been put to the test and we've had to need desperation to our game, we've been able to find our best game," veteran forward Brenden Morrow said.

"We have to play well defensively," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "When we've had that mentality this year, especially in the playoffs, of expecting a 1-0, 2-1 type of game, our team has responded . . . We're looking forward to the challenge."

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Stamkos played in Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals once before, in 2011. He was struck in the face by a puck and forced to leave the game temporarily.

On Thursday, speaking at the Lightning's hotel in midtown Manhattan, he said he doesn't remember getting hurt so much as he remembers losing. The Lightning fell to the Boston Bruins, 1-0.

Stamkos relishes getting a chance at a do-over Friday night. He is trying to impress upon some of his younger teammates that chances to get to the Stanley Cup Final don't come every day.

"I was one game away" from reaching the Final, Stamkos said. "You think you're going to be right back the next year, but . . . it's taken me four years to get back. You have to realize the magnitude of the game and the situation that you're in, and really, how close you are. And I think our group realizes that."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper was asked if he plans to make a speech to his players before the game. He said he does not.

"There's two words: Game 7," Cooper said. "I don't think it needs too much more introduction than that.

"Growing up in the streets as a kid, you don't say you scored the winning goal in Game 1."