NEW YORK — Filip Chytil scored the tiebreaking goal in his season debut, and the New York Rangers scored three times in 6 1/2 minutes late in the third period to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Ryan Strome had a goal and an assist, and Kaapo Kakko and Adam Fox also scored for the Rangers who had one win in their previous seven games (1-5-1). Alexandar Georgiev stopped 29 shots.
Nikita Kucherov had Tampa Bay’s goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 38 saves.
The game was tight for the first 53 minutes with each goalie making some big stops. However, the Rangers took the lead when Buchnevich sent a pass through traffic toward the middle for a streaking Chytil, called up from Hartford of the AHL on Monday, and he reached his stick forward and tipped the puck past Vasilevskiy with 7:14 left.
Fox then made it 3-1 as he knocked in the rebound of a shot by Chris Kreider for his first NHL goal with 2:36 remaining.
The Lightning pulled Vasilevskiy for an extra skater with about 1 1/2 minutes to go, but Strome scored an empty-netter with 46 seconds left to seal the win.
New York outshot Tampa Bay 14-11 in each of the first two periods. The Lightning took the lead late in the first period, and the Rangers tied on a fortuitous deflection midway through the second.
Penalties on Mathieu Joseph and Ondrej Palat gave the Rangers a 5-on-3 advantage for 20 seconds near the midpoint of the second. Shortly after the first penalty expired, Strome got the puck from Artemi Panarin and sent a pass from the left doorstep back to Kakko in the right circle, and the Finnish rookie fired at the goal. It was stopped by Vasilevskiy but the rebound went to the right and deflected off defenceman Braydon Coburn’s left skate and back in for Kakko’s second career goal — first on a power play — at 9:37.
DeAngelo nearly gave New York the lead late in the middle period, but his shot from the left side on a rush went off Vasilevskiy’s blocker and then the post and away.
The opening minutes of the game featured some physical exchanges. There was a fight between the Rangers’ Michael Haley and the Lightning’s Patrick Maroon, with Haley dropping Maroon with a right hook to the side of the head — drawing loud cheers from the home crowd. Minutes later, Tampa Bay’s Luke Witkowski shoved New York rookie defenceman Ryan Lindgren sliding into the boards, resulting in some pushing and shoving between several players. Witkowski received a penalty for boarding on the play.
Kucherov gave the Lightning the lead with 4:16 left in the opening period. Brayden Point brought the puck up the right side and, as he skated past the goal line, sent a pass back to his left for Kucherov who was trailing the play and Kucherov put it into the left side with Georgiev out of position for his fourth.
Lightning D Kevin Shattenkirk was back at Madison Square Garden for the first time since having the last two seasons of his contract bought out the Rangers during the off-season and subsequently signing with Tampa Bay. The New Rochelle native had seven goals and 44 assists in 119 games over two seasons with the Rangers. … Maroon headed to the locker room shortly after going to the penalty box after his fight with Haley, and did not return to the game. … The Rangers honoured former D Dan Girardi before the game.
Girardi, who retired in the off-season, had 46 goals and 184 assists in 11 seasons in New York before spending two seasons with the Lightning and totalling 10 goals and 24 assists. Girardi came out on the ice, accompanied by his wife and two children, and dropped the ceremonial first puck. … C Mika Zibanejad, who leads the Rangers with 11 points, sat out with an upper body injury sustained in first period of 7-4 loss to Boston on Sunday night. … New York D Marc Staal was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. … Strome has a point in five straight games, with three goals and five assists in that stretch. He also now has four goals and seven assists in 18 career games against the Lightning.
Lightning: At New Jersey on Wednesday night.
Rangers: At Nashville on Saturday night.
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Vin A. Cherwoo, The Associated Press