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Lecavalier scores tiebreaking goal to lift Lightning over Rangers 3-2

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Lecavalier scores tiebreaking goal to lift Lightning over Rangers 3-2

The Canadian Press
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Lecavalier scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 8:07 left in the third period to help the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Saturday night.

"He's one of the best players on the ice consistently this year," Lightning coach John Tortorella said.

Lecavalier has 33 goals this season, including a team-high six game-winners.

"We came out with a lot of intensity and we never give up," Lecavalier said. "It's great for our confidence."

Lecavalier's goal from the top of the right circle came after the Rangers were penalized for having too many men on the ice. Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr argued with officials to no avail after the penalty was called.

"It was the right call," New York coach Tom Renney said. "We played the puck. It was unfortunate."

Tampa Bay, which has won 10 of 12, also got goals from Paul Ranger and Brad Richards. Johan Holmqvist made 24 saves.

"That's a team with some serious firepower," Renney said.

Jason Krog and Michael Nylander scored for the Rangers, who have lost six of nine. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 38 shots.

It was the Rangers' first game since left winger Brendan Shanahan's comments after a loss to Toronto on Wednesday night in which he called for an end to unfair officiating he feels Jagr endures.

Jagr didn't draw any penalties, which appeared to be correct. He did have an assist.

Tampa Bay, however, got the first four power plays, converting the fourth chance when Richards scored from left circle to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead with 5:54 left in the second. The next two minor penalties were called against Tampa Bay, which resulted in Nylander's tying goal at 18:23 during a four-on-three power play.

"It's really tough when you take too many penalties," Lundqvist said. "They're a good power-play team. We beat ourselves. We took too many penalties."

Referees Don Koharski and Craig Spada ended the second by calling two minors against the Rangers.

The Lightning were 2-of-8 with the man advantage. The Rangers converted one of three power-play opportunities, with the final chance coming with 1:41 left.

"It looked like it helped us a lot, the last comment we made," Jagr said.

Krog scored on the rebound after a tough angle shot by Shanahan to put the Rangers ahead 1-0 at 7:31 of the first. Ranger tied it at one on a rebound backhander from the high slot at 6:51 of the second.

The Lightning improved to .500 at home with the victory (13-13-0). Tampa Bay's road mark is 16-10-2.

"It's a huge win," Lecavalier said. "We're just playing more simple now and it definitely paid off tonight."

Notes: Lecavalier has scored a goal in three straight games. ... Rangers D Michal Rozsival (knee) missed his second straight game. ... Tampa Bay captain Tim Taylor (flu) didn't play for the third consecutive game.

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Lecavalier scores tiebreaking goal to lift Lightning over Rangers 3-2