NEW YORK (AP) -- Martin St. Louis took in all in stride as he sat alone in
the Tampa Bay dressing room following a very satisfying victory.
St. Louis made it possible with a goal and an assist in the decisive third
period Sunday night, and the weary Lightning held on to beat the New York
The small, quick forward tied it with a breakaway goal during a power play
1:26 into the third period, then set up Cory Sarich for the winner at 8:23.
"We played a simple road game, nothing flashy," St. Louis said.
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
Tampa Bay improved to 1-5-1 when trailing after two periods, all after a
The Lightning followed up Saturday night's 3-1 win at Buffalo by winning the
third game played in four days. Complicating matters was the Northeast
snowstorm that forced the team to stay in Buffalo on Saturday and not come
until New York until Sunday morning.
"Obviously we didn't get much rest," St. Louis said. "A 5 o'clock game on
a back-to-back day, there's almost no time to think about it. You just get
right back at it."
Anson Carter 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 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
New York came out quickly, firing 10 shots at goalie John Grahame before
eight minutes elapsed en route to 14 in the period. The Rangers had 17 the rest
of the way.
"I was impressed," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "It was
important to get out of that period the way we did."
The Rangers twice held one-goal leads, but they weren't able to build on
"If they get a couple of early goals they are so good about themselves and
they get confidence," St. Louis said. "That's a tough thing to play against
when they have that confidence because they have the players to hurt you."
Tampa Bay has won the first two games of a three-game New York trip. The
Lightning had lost the previous three games.
St. Louis broke free 1:34 into a penalty to Vladimir Malakhov that spanned
the second and third periods. It was an infraction Rangers coach Glen Sather
"We played like we are a .500 hockey club," captain Mark Messier said of
the 10-10-5-2 Rangers. "That is exactly where we sit because we do not do the
things that it takes to win on a regular basis."
St. Louis took a pass from Vincent Lecavalier and streaked in to beat Mike
Dunham's outstretched right pad for his first goal in 10 games.
The Lightning forward then made a pass from down low out to Sarich, who
fired a shot past Dunham to make it 3-2.
Tampa Bay's late offense lifted Grahame to his fourth victory. Grahame, who
plays behind regular goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, snapped his two-game losing
Grahame made 29 saves opposed from Dunham, who stopped 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.