Lightning Down Rangers in OT for 10th Straight

NEW YORK — Victor Hedman scored at 3:25 of overtime and the Tampa Bay Lightning extended their winning streak to a franchise-record 10 games with a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

Tyler Johnson, J.T. Miller and Dan Girardi also scored for Tampa Bay, which has an NHL-leading 102 points. Nikita Kucherov added three assists to give him a league-leading 74. Andrei Vasilevskiy had 33 saves.

Tampa Bay Lightning Andrei Vasilevsky
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (AP Photo/Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Jimmy Vesey had a goal and assist for the Rangers. Mika Zibanejad and Boo Nieves also scored. Alexandar Georgiev had 26 saves, including stopping Hedman on a breakaway earlier in overtime.

Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Rangers started their rally in the opening minute of the second when Vesey slid a pass across to Zibanejad, who scored on the backhand and tied a career high with his 27th goal of the season.

The Lightning answered when Steven Stamkos skated down the right faceoff circle and sent to a cross-ice pass to Girardi, who scored at 2:53. It was the fourth goal of the season for Girardi, who spent the first 11 seasons of his career with New York before joining Tampa Bay in 2017-18.

Just 30 seconds later, Vesey skated toward the net and fought off Hedman and scored his 16th of the season.

The Rangers tied the game when Nieves took a pass from Ryan Strome behind the net and scored his fourth of the season at 14:14. Vasilevskiy got a piece of Nieves’ shot, but it trickled over the goal line to make it 3-3.

Tampa Bay dominated the first period. Johnson opened the scoring when he snapped a shot that beat Georgiev stick-side for his 22nd of the season at 7:52.

Later in the period, Kucherov took a shot from the right faceoff circle that deflected off the stick of Rangers defenceman Marc Staal to Miller in front of the goal. Miller sent a backhand into the net for his 12th of the season at 14:57 on the power play.

Vasilevskiy kept the Rangers scoreless through 20 minutes when he stopped Chris Kreider on a breakaway with three minutes to go in the period.

NOTES: Kucherov’s 104 points surpassed Martin St. Louis for the second most in a season in team history. The record is 108 points held by Vincent Lecavalier. … Johnson reached 300 career points with his first-period goal. … Zibanejad is the first Rangers player with consecutive seasons of at least 27 goals since Jaromir Jagr did it in 2005-06 and 2006-07. … Brendan Lemieux made his debut for the Rangers. He was acquired from Winnipeg in the trade that sent Kevin Hayes to the Jets on Monday. … Filip Chytil was scratched by New York.


Lightning: Face the Bruins in Boston on Thursday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the Atlantic Division.

Rangers: Host the Canadiens on Friday night in the second game of a three-game homestand.


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Simmi Buttar, The Associated Press