The Rangers have grown accustomed to watching leads slip away in
the final 20 minutes. The Lightning have become adept at snatching
points from opponents.
This time, the tables were turned.
Ronald Petrovicky and Pavel Bure scored in an 18-second span in
the final three minutes to answer a Tampa Bay flurry and give the
Rangers a 4-3 victory Sunday.
Andre Roy and Martin St. Louis scored 1:26 apart just moments
earlier in what looked to be another successful rally by the
Lightning. But Bure scored his second of the game at 17:22, and
while that goal was being announced, Petrovicky lifted a shot over
Nikolai Khabibulin to put the Rangers in front.
"I thought it was a very determined effort from everybody out
there for 60 minutes,'' said Petr Nedved, who scored once and set
up both Bure goals. "They came back very easily and boom, a couple
of minutes after that we answered the bell.''
The Rangers, who have blown four leads in the third period this
season, earned points against a winning team for the second
straight game, after losing 7-4 to Atlanta, the NHL's second-worst
"Every game is a tough game in this league,'' Petrovicky said.
"We have to come out every night and play like that every game.
"Hopefully, with a confidence builder in Dallas and tonight
when we showed a strong, clean game, we'll continue that.''
The Lightning have rallied 11 times this season to earn points
The Rangers had already lost twice this season to Tampa Bay, and
appeared headed to their 20th loss to the young Lightning in 47
"We're up 3-2 with three minutes left, we can't give up two
goals like that. There's no excuses,'' Roy said. "I don't know if
we're all overconfident or what.''
That was a notion that didn't sit well with Lightning coach John
"Overconfident? It's ridiculous to even think that we were
overconfident,'' he said.
Tampa Bay has fallen into a 1-4-1 slump and has dropped behind
Carolina in the Southeast Division.
"We have to play 60 minutes because they didn't give up,'' Roy
said. "We need these points.''
Roy got Tampa Bay even at 2 with 6:43 left with his fifth goal,
scored exactly 5 minutes after Petr Nedved gave the Rangers the
lead. Then, at 14:43, St. Louis scored a power-play goal -- firing
from the edge of the left circle for his 14th to make it 3-2.
Bure, publicly challenged this week by coach Bryan Trottier to
pick up his play, finished a pretty three-way passing rush. Nedved
streaked down the left side, passed to Radek Dvorak in the middle
before the puck was quickly moved to Bure on the right for the
It was Bure's team-high 11th goal and second in three games
after he went 12 of 13 without scoring.
Trottier still wasn't completely pleased.
"Not entirely,'' he said. "Pav's still got to work a little
more on defense.''
Nedved's 10th goal gave the Rangers their third power-play score
in the last 12 chances after they went five games without one.
Poti's assist stretched his point streak to six games (4 goals, 5
Ruslan Fedotenko scored a power-play goal earlier in the period
to give Tampa Bay a lead it held for just over 12 minutes.
Petrovicky and Nedved teamed to set up Bure's goal at 17:27 of
the second that tied it at 1. Petrovicky took a hard shot from the
left circle and then got his own rebound. He sent a quick backhand
pass to Bure, who easily scored into the open right side of the
"He is a smart guy,'' Nedved said of Bure. "He can really get
open, and even the guys on the other team know he is dangerous.
When you're playing with him, you know he's going to get open so
you just try to get him the puck.''
New York's Dan Blackburn made 23 saves in his 12th straight
start in place of injured Mike Richter. Khabibulin made 25 saves.
Rangers C Bobby Holik missed his 17th straight game due to
a hip flexor injury. He is expected to skate with the team Monday
and hopes to return for Thursday's game in Philadelphia. ... The
assists for Dan Boyle and Nolan Pratt gave Tampa Bay defensemen 50
points in 24 games this season. That group only had 23 points in
the first 23 games last year. ... Vaclav Prospal, who helped set up
Fedotenko's goal, leads the Lightning with 18 assists.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Madison Square Garden Location: New York, New York
Referees: Stephen Walkom, Scott Zelkin Linesmen: Scott Driscoll, Anthony Sericolo
Attendance: 18,200 (101.1% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Ruslan Fedotenko (6)
(Power Play) Assists: Dan Boyle, Vinny Prospal
Pavel Bure (10)
Assists: Ronald Petrovicky, Petr Nedved
Petr Nedved (10)
(Power Play) Assist: Tom Poti
Andre Roy (5)
Assists: Ben Clymer, Nolan Pratt
Martin St. Louis (14)
(Power Play) Assists: Dave Andreychuk, Fredrik Modin
Pavel Bure (11)
Assists: Radek Dvorak, Petr Nedved
Ronald Petrovicky (3)
Assists: Brian Leetch, Mikael Samuelsson