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(Saturday, February 2nd)
Final Score: NY Rangers 3, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Carl Hagelin's third-period goal proved to be the difference, as the New York Rangers handed the Tampa Bay Lightning their first home loss of the season with a 3-2 triumph on Saturday at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Derek Stepan and Rick Nash each scored once, while Taylor Pyatt added a pair of assists for the Rangers, who have won three of their last four.
"It always feels good to score, but mainly it was the win that felt the best," Nash said. "It was a big win."
Martin Biron got the start in place of Henrik Lundqvist and stopped 30 shots to earn the victory.
Steven Stamkos continued his torrid start with a pair of goals and has recorded at least one point in every game this season, but it wasn't enough, as the Lightning saw their five-game winning streak come to an end.
"We had chances," Stamkos said. "But we just couldn't capitalize on them. They capitalized on theirs."
Mathieu Garon was charged with all three goals on 30 shots in the setback.
After a scoreless first period, the Lightning struck first while on the power play at the 4:22 mark of the second when Matt Carle slid a pass from the left circle to a wide-open Stamkos in the slot and the Tampa Bay center wristed a quick shot high over the glove hand of Biron for a 1-0 edge.
New York evened things near the midpoint of the stanza, as Stepan recovered a rebound to the left of Garon and flipped a quick backhand into the back of the net to knot the game at the 9:50 mark.
Tampa Bay had a go-ahead goal taken away later in the second when it was ruled that B.J. Crombeen's stick was over the crossbar as he batted the puck into the net to keep the game locked at 1-1.
Nash then gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead just over three minutes into the third when he charged down the right wing and held off a defender before cutting through the crease and stuffing the puck inside the left post past the outstretched pad of Garon to make it 2-1 at the 3:04 mark.
Pyatt's persistence provided New York with a 3-1 cushion at the 14:47 mark, as he chipped the puck off the left boards from the neutral zone and chased it down before tipping it ahead to Hagelin cutting to the net. Hagelin was able to get just enough on the puck to push it past Garon for a two-goal lead.
After Garon headed to the bench in favor of the extra attacker late in the third, Stamkos rifled a one-timer from the top of the left circle that sailed high over the shoulder of Biron to bring Tampa Bay within one with 21 seconds remaining, but the Lightning were unable to score an equalizer in the closing seconds.
Tampa Bay entered the game leading the NHL with 37 goals ... Tampa Bay center Vincent Lecavalier took a slap shot off his ankle as time expired and was laboring on his way off the ice ... New York finished 0-for-2 on the power play, while Tampa Bay scored on its only power-play opportunity ... Carle finished with two assists for the Lightning ... Hagelin also added an assist for the Rangers.
02/02 23:24:52 ET
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