Series (Game 2 of 4)

Tampa Bay leads 3-1

Game 1: Tuesday, November 25th
Game 2: Sunday, December 7th
Game 3: Sunday, January 11th
Game 4: Friday, March 12th

Lightning 3

(13-6-1, 31 pts)

Rangers 2

(10-10-2, 27 pts)

5:00 PM ET, December 7, 2003

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

1 2 3 T
TB 1 0 23
NYR 1 1 02

M. St. Louis (Lightning - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Grahame (Lightning - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: .935

A. Carter (Rangers - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Lightning overcome travel problems in NY

NEW YORK (AP) -- Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist in the decisive third period to lift the weary Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory Sunday night over the New York Rangers.

St. Louis tied it with a breakaway goal during a power play, 1:26 into the period, then helped set up Cory Sarich for the game-winner at 8:23.

Dave Andreychuk scored for the third straight game to tie it for the Lightning in the first period. Andreychuk, 40, is 11th on the NHL career goal list with 617, and he moved within one game of tying John Bucyk for eighth place in games played.

Anson Carter also scored for the third straight game, and Greg de Vries had his first with the Rangers, who lost for the third time in four games.

The Lightning followed Saturday night's 3-1 win at Buffalo by winning the third game played in four days. Complicating matters was the Northeast snowstorm this weekend that forced the Lightning to stay in Buffalo on Saturday and not come to New York until Sunday morning.

The Bolts arrived about six hours before the puck dropped and held off the Rangers, who hadn't played since a road win against the local Islanders on Thursday.

Tampa Bay has won the first two games of a three-game New York trip. The Lightning, who had lost the previous three games, play the Islanders on Tuesday.

St. Louis broke free 1:34 into a penalty on Vladimir Malakhov that spanned the second and third periods. He beat Mike Dunham's outstretched right pad.

The Lightning forward then made a pass from down low out to the right point to Sarich, who fired a shot past Dunham to make it 3-2.

Tampa Bay's late offense lifted John Grahame to his fourth victory. Grahame, who plays behind regular goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, snapped his two-game losing streak.

Grahame made 29 saves, Dunham 21. They are likely to be two key members of Team USA in next year's World Cup of Hockey.

Carter gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead by tipping in Petr Nedved's shot at the bottom of the right circle 5:39 in.

Andreychuk tied it with 7:59 left in the first period with help from the Rangers. Andreychuk lost control of the puck in the New York zone, but defenseman Brian Leetch steered it into his own net.

The Rangers went back in front when de Vries' long drive beat Grahame 49 seconds into the middle period.

Game notes

Lightning RW Ben Clymer and D Dan Boyle missed the game after sustaining concussions Saturday night. Both are expected to miss at least a week. ... The Rangers got C Mark Messier (thigh) and LW Dan LaCouture (shoulder) back in the lineup. Messier missed one game, and LaCouture was out the previous six. They took the places of Jamie Lundmark (knee) and Richard Scott. ... Andreychuk had just one goal in 21 games before his current streak. ... Leetch's point streak was snapped at seven games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press