NYR
45-31-6
TBL
46-27-9

29 SOG
40 SOG

Rangers Power Past Lightning 4-3

Jim Cerny | Friday, 01.03.2014 / 12:09 PM

Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning the New York Rangers morphed into the Power Rangers, scoring a season-high three power play goals en-route to a 4-3 road victory at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The win lifted the Rangers to 19-19-2 on the season and evened their record at 1-1-0 through the first two games on their current five-game road trip.

Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, and Benoit Pouliot all scored with the man advantage for the Rangers, with Zuccarello pacing the team with his second three-point game of the season, equaling a career-high. Ryan McDonagh and Derick Brassard each contributed a pair of power play assists, while Henrik Lundqvist started in goal for the first time in nine days and stopped 37 of 40 shots to backstop the victory.

Rick Nash got the Rangers going on Sunday by scoring his first goal in eight games just 4:30 into the contest, the team's lone even strength goal on the night. Camped out by the right post, Nash had an easy tap in when Derek Stepan whipped a cross-crease pass his way to put the Rangers up 1-0 against a Lightning team playing its second game in as many nights following Saturday's 2-1 home-ice shootout loss against the Montreal Canadiens.

To their credit Tampa Bay came right back with Tyler Johnson finishing a pretty passing sequence for a power play goal at 10:41 of the first period, tying the game 1-1. Ondrej Palat then hammered a rebound past Lundqvist from left wing at 16:55 of the opening period and the Rangers found themselves in a 2-1 hole. However that's where the team's revived power play began to turn the game back in the Rangers favor.

Eight seconds after Valteri Filppula was penalized for a delay of game minor at 18:17 Zuccarello's centering pass to Pouliot banked off the skate of a Lightning defenseman and past goaltender Anders Lindback to even the score at 2-2. The goal was Zuccarello's ninth of the season, and was the start of a big night for the Norwegian winger, who has now surpassed Brad Richards as the team's leading scorer with 28 points.

Zuccarello made a simply gorgeous soft pass to Kreider on left wing with the Rangers skating on the man advantage early in the second period, and Kreider burst towards the net, slipping the disc into the far side of the cage at 4:35 as the visitors restored their one-goal lead. The goal was Kreider's team-high tenth of the season, and third in the last seven games.

Moments later Tampa's J.P. Cote delivered a crushing hit on Carl Hagelin in the far corner of the Rangers offensive zone and was penalized for high sticking at 6:42. Again the Rangers made the Lightning pay for their indiscretion as Pouliot extended his consecutive games point-scoring streak to a career-high seven games as he tapped in a pretty pass from Brassard at 7:51 of the second period.

Pouliot scored his seventh goal of the season, and it was his team-high fifth on the power play. He now has four power play goals in the past five games.

The three power play goals were the most the Rangers had recorded in a game since they also netted three last April 3rd during a 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team's power play has come alive of late, and including Sunday it has clicked eight times in its last 23 opportunities, covering the six games. The Rangers entered play Sunday with the NHL's 11th-best power play, converting at an 18.9 percent success rate.

With the Rangers 3-for-3 on the power play, and Tampa Bay 1-for-1, the game's first successful penalty kill finally came 13:11 into the second period when the visitors killed off Dan Girardi's interference minor.

The Lightning did make things more interesting, and tense for the Rangers, when Filpulla's deflection beat Lundqvist stick side for an even strength goal at 8:14 of the third period.

Lundqvist was often under siege in the final period of play, and came up with a string of big saves. Though he surrendered more than two goals for the eighth straight start, Lundqvist played better and better as the game wore on, earning his first win in two weeks and only his third in the month of December.

The Rangers No. 1 goaltender faced 16 shots in the third period, stopping 15, and was awarded the team's Broadway Hat once the victory was sealed.

With defenseman Anton Stralman unable to play due to a sore left hand/wrist on Sunday, rookie Conor Allen made his NHL debut, playing a solid game while being mostly paired alongside Justin Falk, though he also took some shifts with Girardi. His first shift arrived 2:12 into the opening period, and he recorded his first shot on goal two shifts later.

Allen logged 15:47 of ice time, including seven minutes in the third period, on ice even as the Rangers protected their one-goal lead late.

The Rangers will play their final game of calendar year 2013, and reach the midway point of their 2013-14 schedule, when they skate against the Panthers in Sunrise on Tuesday night in the their next contest on this road trip.

1st2nd3rdT
NYR
TBL
Scoring Summary
1st Period
04:30NYR Rick Nash (7) ASST: Derek Stepan (17) 1 - 0 NYR
10:41TBL PPG - Tyler Johnson (10) ASST: Teddy Purcell (12), Valtteri Filppula (16) 1 - 1 Tie
16:05TBL Ondrej Palat (6) ASST: Radko Gudas (7), Jean-Philippe Cote (3) 2 - 1 TBL
18:25NYR PPG - Mats Zuccarello (9) ASST: Derick Brassard (14), Ryan McDonagh (16) 2 - 2 Tie
2nd Period
04:35NYR PPG - Chris Kreider (10) ASST: Mats Zuccarello (18), Ryan McDonagh (17) 3 - 2 NYR
07:51NYR PPG - Benoit Pouliot (7) ASST: Derick Brassard (15), Mats Zuccarello (19) 4 - 2 NYR
3rd Period
08:14TBL Valtteri Filppula (14) ASST: Teddy Purcell (13), Dmitry Korobov (1) 4 - 3 NYR
Three Stars of the Game
Mats Zuccarello
1st
Mats Zuccarello
LW
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 16:00
Ryan McDonagh
2nd
Ryan McDonagh
D
G: 0Shots: 2
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 27:26
Teddy Purcell
3rd
Teddy Purcell
G: 0Shots: 4
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 19:26
Penalty Summary
1st Period
09:11NYR J.T. Miller  Hooking against  Martin St. Louis
18:17TBL Valtteri Filppula  Delay Gm - Face-off Violation
2nd Period
03:18TBL Dmitry Korobov  Holding against  Rick Nash
06:42TBL Jean-Philippe Cote  Hi-sticking against  Carl Hagelin
11:11NYR Dan Girardi  Interference against  Tyler Johnson
3rd Period
NONE
shots by period
PeriodNYRTBL
1st1412
2nd912
3rd616
Total2940
Team Stats
CategoryNYRTBL
Power Plays3/31/2
Hits1715
Faceoff Wins3129
Giveaways79
Takeaways82
Blocked Shots1512
Penalty Minutes46
  • NY RANGERS
  • TAMPA BAY
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4M. Del ZottoD0002016:43
5D. GirardiD00-12226:30
10J. MillerC00-10212:12
15D. DorsettR00-12013:17
16D. BrassardC0201014:37
17J. MooreD0002022:26
19B. RichardsC0003015:58
20C. KreiderL1011017:11
21D. StepanC0112017:29
22B. BoyleC00-11013:53
27R. McDonaghD0202027:26
28D. MooreC00-10012:56
36M. ZuccarelloL1202016:00
37C. AllenD00-12015:47
44J. FalkD000008:45
61R. NashL1013017:16
62C. HagelinL00-12013:44
67B. PouliotL10-12014:20
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30H. Lundqvist3740.92560:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
7R. GudasD0102021:03
8M. BarberioD0012013:58
9T. JohnsonC1014020:43
11T. PyattC000005:54
16T. PurcellR0204019:26
17A. KillornC0004018:04
18O. PalatL1014019:29
22J. CoteD0111211:37
23J. BrownR0001014:45
24D. KorobovD0100210:35
25M. CarleD0003020:49
26M. St. LouisR0014023:32
44N. ThompsonC0000015:10
51V. FilppulaC1103220:39
56N. KucherovR0000016:19
62A. SustrD0001016:42
71R. PanikR000207:27
77V. HedmanD0005022:51
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
39A. Lindback2529.86258:23