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Rangers defeat Lightning 2-1 in NHL season opener in Czech Republic

NHL.com @NHL

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Markus Naslund and Brandon Dubinsky scored to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday as the NHL's opened its season in Europe for the second straight year.

Naslund scored with 1:52 remaining in the second period on a wrist shot after taking a pass from Scott Gomez.

Martin St. Louis tied the game 3:57 into the final period after skating past Rangers defenceman Dmitri Kalinin and lifting a backhand shot over goaltender Henrik Lundquist.

Dubinsky scored the winner on a power play with 5:44 left in the game.

Lundquist made 20 saves while Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith stopped 39 shots.

The NHL opened last season in Europe with the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings playing two games in London.

It was the fifth time the NHL began its season outside North America, with the other three times coming in Japan in 1997, 1998 and 2000.

Naslund, the longtime Vancouver Canucks captain, scored in his debut for the Rangers. He agreed to a two-year deal worth US$8 million in July after Jaromir Jagr left New York as a free agent and signed with Omsk Avangard of the KHL in Russia.

Both teams' stars, including captains Vincent Lecavalier of the Lightning and Chris Drury of the Rangers, missed a number of scoring chances in the opening period.

Smith stopped 14 shots, while Lundquist turned away eight.

The Rangers carried the action in the second period, outshooting the Lightning 16-3, but Smith stopped everything until Naslund's shot.

Lundquist, who led the NHL with 10 shutouts last season, denied St. Louis and Steven Stamkos when the Lightning were seeking an equalizer.

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