|Date of game: 11/25/2013
Recap: Tampa Bay vs. NY Rangers
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - A return home was just what the Tampa Bay Lightning needed to reverse their recent fortunes, as Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell each scored twice to support a 37-save performance from Ben Bishop in a 5-0 drubbing of the New York Rangers that halted a four-game losing streak.
The Lightning went 0-3-1 on a just-completed trip to the West Coast, but delivered their sixth straight win on home ice behind Bishop's second shutout of the season.
Nikita Kucherov added a goal in his NHL debut, with St. Louis and Purcell each tacking on an assist to help Tampa Bay improve to 9-2-0 at Tampa Bay Times Forum this season.
"First of all, he's not afraid to shoot the puck," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Kucherov. "And you've got a good chance of scoring when you shoot. That will not be the last goal that kid will score in the NHL."
The Rangers had a string of six consecutive road victories halted and saw star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist pulled after two periods upon allowing four goals on 22 shots.
"We didn't play that bad," said Lundqvist. "We made a few mistakes and paid for it. I wasn't able to come up with the saves."
Tampa Bay wasted little time in setting the tone, striking twice in the game's first three-plus minutes to put the Rangers in a quick hole.
Kucherov, recalled from Syracuse of the AHL on Sunday, made his initial NHL shot a memorable one by one-timing a behind-the-net feed from Purcell through Lundqvist's pads just 2:12 in.
With the teams skating on a 4-on-4 a mere 58 seconds later, St. Louis outraced New York defenseman Marc Staal to a puck dumped into the Ranger zone by Victor Hedman and beat Lundqvist on the resulting breakaway.
Bishop was exceptionally sharp as well early on, turning aside 17 shots during a busy opening session.
St. Louis again used his speed to extend the margin to 3-0 early in the second period, splitting a pair of defenders to take in a well-placed pass from Valtteri Filppula and sneaking the puck by Lundqvist while 1-on-1.
Purcell got into the act 3:08 prior to the second intermission, skating nearly the length of the ice following a Rangers' turnover and rocketing a wrister over Lundqvist's glove.
Bishop recorded 10 saves in the third period to finish off his fifth career shutout, and Purcell put the finishing touches on the rout with 1:01 left. Working a 2-on-1 with St. Louis, the forward jammed a backhander past Cam Talbot for his second tally of the night.Game Notes
The Lightning had managed just six goals total over their four-game skid,
while New York had allowed only eight goals during their six-game road streak
... Forward Ryan Malone (foot) and defenseman Radko Gudas (upper body) both
sat out for Tampa Bay ... The Lightning improved to 11-1-0 when scoring the
game's first goal and have scored 46 times in their 11 home outings ... Talbot
registered two saves on three shots after replacing Lundqvist.