Tampa Bay surges past New York in 5-1 victory
Ryan Callahan scored two goals in his first game against his former New York Rangers teammates, and the surging Tampa Bay Lightning rode another big offensive outburst to a 5-1 victory Monday night.
Callahan netted the second of Tampa Bay’s two first-period goals and then closed the scoring with 2:51 left in the game for the Lightning, who lead the NHL with 71 goals in 19 games. Nikita Kucherov also scored in the opening frame, and Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn had goals in the second after New York closed within a goal.
Stamkos also had two assists, as did Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Valtteri Filppula.
The Lightning (13-4-2), one point behind Eastern Conference-leading Montreal, are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.
Tampa Bay improved to 12-0 when Callahan scored since he was acquired from the Rangers in the captain-swap trade that sent Martin St. Louis to New York on March 5.
St. Louis, the Lightning’s career points leader, scored a power-play goal in the second period for the Rangers, 1-3-2 in their past six games. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 25 shots.
The Lightning grabbed a two-goal lead in a span of 7:30 in the first period.
Just after Bishop stopped St. Louis on a chance in front, the Lightning got on the board at the other end.
Johnson sent a crisp pass that sent Kucherov in alone on Lundqvist. He flipped a shot that hit Lundqvist but found its way between the goalie’s pads as he was falling backward into the net at 6:50.
It was Kucherov’s seventh of the season - all in the past 12 games - and his 14th point in that span. Johnson has 19 points in 16 games.
Callahan doubled the lead during a power play on the Lightning’s fourth shot.
Stamkos deftly worked the puck low from the left circle and found Callahan alone at the right post with a pass for a slam shot that Lundqvist had no chance to stop.
While there were Rangers jerseys with his name on the back and familiar “C” on the front, Callahan heard early boos when he touched the puck. Those turned to cheers about seven minutes in when a video tribute to him and fellow former Rangers Brian Boyle and Anton Stralman, with the message “Thanks for the memories. We salute you,” was shown on the scoreboard.
The warm reception reverted to boos when Callahan scored.
The Rangers received their first power play in the final minute of the first period and it carried over into the second. St. Louis cut the deficit to 2-1 just 32 seconds in when his shot from the right side was accidentally steered into the net from the crease by Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison.
Tampa Bay broke it open when Stamkos and Killorn scored 4:34 apart late in the second. AP
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