Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov scored 9 seconds apart early in the second period, and Ben Bishop made 33 saves in his return from injury as the Tampa Bay Lightning cooled off the New York Rangers 2-1 Tuesday night.
Hedman got the Lightning even with a power-play goal and Kucherov gave them the lead for good on a breakaway. Tampa Bay went 5-3 in a stretch in which it played seven of eight on the road.
Brad Richards scored for the Rangers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves, but took the loss for New York, which was 8-2-1 in its previous 11.
Bishop was back in action for the first time since he sprained his right wrist in the first period at Edmonton on Jan. 5. He missed three games before dressing as the backup to Anders Lindback on Monday at Columbus. He didn't play in the Lightning's 3-2 loss.
The Rangers got their first power play 6:37 into the third period, but Bishop was solid -- stopping Mats Zuccarello in close. Bishop is 5-0 with a goals-against average under 1 against the Rangers.
New York had another advantage in the final 5 minutes but didn't score. The Rangers had netted a power-play goal in five straight contests.
The game quickly turned early in the second when Rangers captain Ryan Callahan was sent off for high-sticking Bishop in the head -- the first penalty for either team -- at 29 seconds.
Hedman then fired a slap shot from just inside the blue line that beat Lundqvist at 1:10. Hedman showed no ill-effects after being shaken up in the first period when he was hit awkwardly into the boards by Brian Boyle.
Before his 10th goal was announced to the Madison Square Garden crowd, the Lightning had grabbed the lead.
After the ensuing faceoff, Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas sent a long pass to Kucherov, who came in alone on Lundqvist and scored his seventh of the season at 1:19.
New York threatened to get even several times in the second, and had a few odd-man rushes, but Bishop was sharp and kept them at bay. He made a lunging glove grab of a drive by Callahan with 9:05 left in the period.
The Rangers got on the board first, taking advantage of a faceoff win in the Lightning zone. Carl Hagelin sent a shot in on Bishop from the left circle, and the rebound went behind the net. Callahan gathered the puck and sent a pass to Richards, who was standing where Hagelin had been, and snapped a shot that beat Bishop at 11:55 for his 12th goal -- tying him for the team lead.
The Lightning's best chance came 5:39 in when defenseman Eric Brewer one-timed a shot from the doorstop that Lundqvist blocked. Just 9 seconds later, Chris Kreider came in alone on Bishop but was turned aside by Bishop's pad at the right post.
NOTES: Rangers coach Alain Vigneault hinted strongly that backup G Cam Talbot will start one of the games this weekend when New York plays Ottawa and Washington on consecutive days. ... Lightning C Nate Thompson sat out because of the flu. RW B.J. Crombeen was a healthy scratch. C Tom Pyatt and RW Richard Panik joined the lineup. ... Lightning D Matt Carle had a career-high, seven-game point streak snapped.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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