EditorsNote: Tweaks throughout
A day after losing their lead in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Tampa Bay Lightning bounced back from a three-game losing streak and got back to their brawling-and-scoring ways with a 7-3 win over the host New York Rangers on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
After the Rangers got on the board first at the 14:59 mark of the first period on a Brady Skjei goal, assisted by David Desharnais and Pavel Buchnevich, the Lightning scored five straight goals, spurred on by a brawl late in the first period involving Buchnevich and the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos.
Tampa Bay responded early in the second period, scoring two goals in a span of just over a minute. Cedric Paquette scored his fourth of the season off assists from Mikhail Sergachev and J.T. Miller at the 3:15 mark of the second period, and Alex Killorn scored his 15th at the 4:33 mark off assists from Anthony Cirelli and Victor Hedman.
The Lightning continued to pour it on early in the third period, lighting it up three times in the first 2:38 of the period. Miller banged in his 22nd of the year on a power-play goal 35 seconds into the third with assists from Killorn and Hedman, Paquette added his fifth at the 1:53 mark off assists from Chris Kunitz and Cory Conacher and Brayden Point put one past Rangers goalie Ondrej Pavelec off an assist from Yanni Gourde.
New York made it a game midway through the third, with Filip Chytil scoring his first of the season, with assists from Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes, and Chris Kreider scoring his 16th goal off assists from Mika Zibanejad and Jesper Fast with 3:29 left in the game to make the score 5-3.
But Point put in his 30th on an empty-netter with 1:44 left off an assist from Gourde, and Tampa Bay added an insurance power-play goal by Dan Girardi with 34 seconds left, with Kunitz and Paquette assisting.
Louis Domingue finished with 28 saves to move to 7-9-1 on the season for the Lightning, who return home on Sunday against Nashville.
The Rangers, who have lost three straight, play at Carolina on Saturday.
—Field Level Media