Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning beats East-leading New York Rangers 4-3 in OT

TAMPA — Ryan Malone sat in the locker room at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, dried blood clotting at the corner of his left eye, the bruise underneath turning vivid shades of yellow and black.

Nothing, though, was brighter than his smile after he scored the winner in the Lightning's 4-3 overtime victory over the Rangers on Friday night.

"I'll take a lot more," Malone said of the high stick that caused the damage, "if they keep going in."

Malone's goal 1:58 into extra time finished Tampa Bay's comeback from a 2-0 second-period deficit against the Eastern Conference's top team and gave it its third straight win and fifth straight at home.

And the Lightning (30-28-6) continued its improbable surge in which it is 13-5-2 in its past 20 games and moved into 10th in the East, four points behind the Jets for the eighth and final playoff spot with two games in hand.

It also is six points behind the first-place Panthers in the Southeast Division, with another big game tonight at Carolina.

"We still got a long road," Malone said. "We know we're in a hole here, so we take it one game at a time. We don't have time to take a five-minute lull. We have to be ready from the drop of the puck."

Tampa Bay was that against New York and ended with a 30-19 shot advantage.

Steven Stamkos scored his league-best 45th goal. Teddy Purcell had a goal and three points, and has five goals, 12 assists in a career-best eight-game points streak.

Tom Pyatt scored. Mathieu Garon made 16 saves. The team blocked 23 shots, with Eric Brewer getting seven, and defenseman Brian Lee, in his second game since being acquired from the Senators, made what coach Guy Boucher called two "terrific" passes for two assists and his first Lightning points.

"The better team won," Rangers coach John Tortorella said.

The Lightning was better because it disrupted the puck cycling New York uses so well to grind teams down. Helping were Lee, Mike Commodore and Keith Aulie, bigger defensemen acquired Monday in trades.

Still, the Rangers were up 2-0 in the second thanks to sharp goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist.

But Pyatt scored 7:09 into the second. Purcell scored his career-high 18th goal to make it 2-2 3:37 into the third after Marty St. Louis captured a loose puck after a faceoff and passed cross-ice. Stamkos' sizzling snap shot from the slot gave the Lightning the lead with 9:43 left.

Brandon Dubinsky tied it with 3:27 left after he turned St. Louis around and beat Garon cleanly. But all that did was set up Malone, whose 11th goal of the season capped a productive game in which he played 20:27 with four shots and three hits.

"It's one of the hardest shots he can do, right above the pad, inside the post," Boucher said of the winner. "You couldn't get a better shot than what he did. This is what beats any goaltender."

No wonder Malone was smiling.

Lightning 0 1 2 1 4
Rangers 1 1 1 0 3
Lightning 0 1 2 1 4
Rangers 1 1 1 0 3

First Period1, NYR, Anisimov 13 (McDonagh), 10:09. PenaltiesGirardi, NYR (high-sticking), :33; Boyle, NYR (roughing), 11:48; Connolly, TB (roughing), 11:48; McDonagh, NYR (roughing), 19:42.

Second Period2, NYR, Gaborik 31 (Stepan, Richards), 2:43 (pp). 3, TB, Pyatt 7 (Connolly, Lee), 7:09. PenaltiesMalone, TB (hooking), :57; Aulie, TB (delay of game), 1:00.

Third Period4, TB, Purcell 18 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 3:37. 5, TB, Stamkos 45 (Lee, Purcell), 10:17. 6, NYR, Dubinsky 7 (Gaborik, Stralman), 16:33. PenaltiesHagelin, NYR, double minor (high-sticking), 10:33.

Overtime7, TB, Malone 11 (Purcell, Brewer), 1:58. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalNYR 3-8-7-1—19. TB 13-11-6-1—31. Power-play opportunitiesNYR 1 of 2; TB 0 of 4. GoaliesNYR, Lundqvist 30-12-5 (31 shots-27 saves). TB, Garon 22-16-4 (19-16).

XXXXXX won shootout, X-X

Tampa Bay Lightning beats East-leading New York Rangers 4-3 in OT 03/02/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 3, 2012 12:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener


    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.