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TAMPA BAY 6, NY Rangers 5 (OT) – TBL leads series 2-1
KUCHEROV'S OT GOAL LIFTS LIGHTNING OVER RANGERS IN WILD GAME 3
Dan Boyle tied the game with 1:56 remaining in regulation, but Nikita Kucherov scored at 3:33 of overtime to end a see-saw affair and give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 series lead against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final.
* Kucherov (1-1—2) scored his third playoff game-winning goal and second in overtime. In the second round, he had the winner in each of the first two games at the Montreal Canadiens, including a goal at 2:06 of double-overtime in Game 1.
* Kucherov is the only player with multiple overtime goals in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Martin St. Louis is the only other player in Lightning history with multiple overtime goals in one playoff year; he scored them when Tampa Bay won its only Stanley Cup in 2004 (Game 5 of EQF vs. the New York Islanders and Game 6 of Stanley Cup Final at the Calgary Flames).
* Kucherov also joins St. Louis (3) and Vincent Lecavalier (2) as the only players in franchise history with multiple overtime goals in their careers.
* Via Elias, Kucherov (21 years, 337 days) is the youngest player to score multiple overtime goals in a single playoff year since Claude Lemieux (age 20) in 1986. On May 1 at Montreal, Kucherov became the youngest player in franchise history to score an overtime goal in the playoffs.
* Seven players had multiple points for the Lightning. The others: Ondrej Palat (2-1—3), Tyler Johnson (1-1—2), Steven Stamkos (1-1—2), Alex Killorn (1-1—2), Victor Hedman (0-2—2) and Nikita Nesterov (0-2—2).
* The Lightning fell behind 2-0 before the 10-minute mark of the first period, marking the second time this postseason Tampa Bay won after trailing by multiple goals at any point in a game; the other was Game 4 in the first round at the Detroit Red Wings, when the Lightning scored twice in the third period and won 3-2 in overtime. Before this year, Elias says the Lightning last overcame a multiple-goal deficit to win a playoff game against the Boston Bruins on May 21, 2011 (Game 4 of ECF: 5-3 W).
* The Lightning improved to 11-7 in 18 all-time playoff overtime games, including 3-0 this year. That includes a 3-4 record at home; this was their first OT win in Tampa since April 16, 2004 against the Islanders (Game 5 of EQF).
* The Lightning improved to 5-3 at Amalie Arena in this year's playoffs, outscoring opponents 23-21. They led the NHL and set club marks with 32 home wins and 65 home points during the regular season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: THE 'TRIPLETS'
The 'Triplets' line of Tyler Johnson (12-6—18), Nikita Kucherov (7-9—16) and Ondrej Palat (6-7—13) has combined for 47 points in the Lightning's 16 playoff games, including 25 of their 47 goals.
* Johnson (16 GP) scored his League-leading 12th goal of the playoffs, matching the Lightning single-year playoff record set by Ruslan Fedotenko (22 GP) and Brad Richards (23 GP) when Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup in 2004.
* Johnson also leads the NHL with 18 points, highlighted by six multiple-point efforts (also tops among all players). He had 16 multipoint performances during the regular season (77 GP).
* Kucherov has recorded half of his points this postseason in his past four games. He is 3-5—8 in that span, including a pair of three-point games.
* Johnson (4) and Kucherov (3) have combined for seven of Tampa Bay's 10 winning goals this postseason, including all three overtime goals. Brad Richards is the only player in franchise history with more game-winning goals in a single playoff year; he set a playoffs record with seven in 2004.
* Palat (2-1—3) recorded his first multiple-goal and first three-point game in the postseason (19 GP). He has at least three points in a game six times in the regular season, including four times in 2014-15. He also stretched his point streak to four games (4-3—7) and is 8-8—16 in 19 career playoff games.
The Lightning have five of the top eight scorers in this year's playoffs, including four in the top five: Tyler Johnson (12-6—18), Nikita Kucherov (7-9—16), Alex Killorn (6-8—14), Steven Stamkos (5-9—14) and Ondrej Palat (6-7—13).
* Killorn (1-1—2), who pulled off a curl and drag move before ripping a shot top corner for the OT winner, had his second straight multi-point performance, following 2-1—3 in Game 2. He has 7-9—16 in 20 career playoff games, including 3-4—7 in his past five games.
* Stamkos (1-1—2) has back-to-back two-point games and has set a playoff career high with 14 points (16 GP), surpassing his previous best of 6-7—13 in 2011 (18 GP). He has 5-6—11 in his past eight games after beginning the playoffs with 0-3—3 in his first eight games.
* Elias says the Lightning scored six goals in consecutive playoff games for the first time in franchise history (also Game 2: 6-2 W). The San Jose Sharks were the last team to accomplish the feat, winning Games 1 (6-3) and 2 (7-2) in the 2014 Western Conference First Round against the Los Angeles Kings.
* Elias adds that the Lightning are the first team to score at least six goals in consecutive playoff games against the Rangers since the Washington Capitals on April 21-23, 1990 in Games 2 and 3 of the Patrick Division Finals (6-3, 7-1).
* The Lightning lead the playoffs with 47 goals (2.94 goals per game) and have scored at least five goals on five occasions (16 GP). Tampa Bay led the NHL during the regular season in non-shootout goals (259) and goals per game (3.16). The Lightning scored five or more goals 16 times.
The Lightning allowed five or more goals in a playoff game and won for the first time in franchise history. They have accomplished that feat 10 times during the regular season, most recently Oct. 24, 2013, vs. the Chicago Blackhawks (6-5 W OT). . . . Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop made 23 saves to improve to 10-6 this postseason (2.03 GAA, .925 SV%, 1 SO). He is 10-1-0 in 11 career games vs. the Rangers (regular season and playoffs). . . . The Lightning converted 1-of-2 power-play opportunities (50.0%). They are 12-for-28 (42.9%) with the man-advantage in the past eight games after going 2-for-34 (5.9%) on the power play in their first eight games this postseason. . . . Fourteen of New York's 15 games this postseason have been decided by one goal. . . . The Rangers lost in overtime for the first time in this year's playoffs (4-1). . . . Rangers forward Jesper Fast had his first career multiple-goal game (regular season and playoffs, 87 GP). Elias says he is the first Rangers rookie to score two goals in a playoff game since Brandon Dubinsky on April 13, 2008 vs. the New Jersey Devils. . . Dan Boyle (1-1—2), Ryan McDonagh (1-1—2), Keith Yandle (0-2—2) and Derek Stepan (0-2—2) also had multiple points for the Rangers. . . . Stepan stretched his point streak to six games (3-5—8), establishing a playoff career high. He has 8-11—19 in 20 career games against the Lightning (regular season and playoffs), including at least one point in all six games in 2014-15 (2-5—7, 6 GP). . . . Derick Brassard scored 62 seconds into Game 3; his six goals this postseason (15 GP) share the team lead and match his total from last year (23 GP). . . . The Toronto Maple Leafs hired Mike Babcock as the 30th coach in franchise history. . . . The St. Louis Blues hired Martin Brodeur as assistant general manager. . . . The Columbus Blue Jackets named Nick Foligno as the sixth captain in franchise history. . . . ICYMI: The Bruins named Don Sweeney their general manager. . . . Goaltender Andrew Hammond signed a three-year contract extension with the Ottawa Senators.