New York Rangers top Tampa Bay Lightning in Henrik Lundqvist's return to net
Rangers 4, Lightning 3
MARK DIDTLER Associated Press
1:49 AM, Dec 30, 2013
9:25 AM, Dec 30, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves in his first start in four games, and Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists in the New York Rangers' 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.
Lundqvist watched from the bench as backup Cam Talbot started the previous three games, winning two, after Lundqvist struggled through a 1-4-2 stretch.
Rick Nash, Chris Kreider and Benoit Pouliot also scored for the Rangers, who had three power-play goals. Ryan McDonagh and Derick Brassard had two assists each.
Tampa Bay got goals from Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Valtteri Filppula. The loss gives the Lightning their first home losing streak of the season.
The Rangers went up 4-2 on second-period power-play goals by Kreider and Pouliot.
Kreider beat Anders Lindback with a backhander at 4:35, and Pouliot extended his point streak to seven games with an in-close redirection 3:16 later.
Tampa Bay pulled within 4-3 on Filppula's tip-in 8:14 into the third. It was one of 16 shots the Lightning had on Lundqvist during the period.
After Johnson tied it with a power-play goal at 10:41 of the first, Palat scored a rebound goal from the left circle to make it 2-1 with 3:55 left in the period.
Nash snapped his seven-game goal drought to put the Rangers up 1-0 just 4:30 into the game. Derek Stepan set up the goal after stealing a pass by Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas.
Zuccarello got the Rangers even at 2 during a power play when his pass into the low slot deflected off Gudas into the net at 18:25. The center assisted on goals by Kreider and Pouliot.
NOTES: Lightning star Steven Stamkos, out since breaking his right leg on Nov. 11, did a series of agility drills during a 30 minute on-ice workout. The center, who hopes to return in February, resumed skating 2 1/2 weeks ago. ... Rangers RW Ryan Callahan (sprained knee) had a limited workout, wearing a no-contact jersey, during the team's morning skate. ... Tampa Bay D Eric Brewer (upper body), Sami Salo (upper body) and LW Ryan Malone (broken ankle) could return during a four-game trip that starts Wednesday at Vancouver. ... New York D Marc Staal (concussion) and D Anton Stralman (undisclosed) practiced.