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Lightning Complete Season Sweep Of Rangers

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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NEW YORK (AP) Martin St. Louis had a goal and assist, and Vincent Lecavalier snapped a third-period tie during a two-man power play to lift Tampa Bay to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday in the Lightning’s first road game in more than a month.

Fresh off a 7-3-2 homestand, the Lightning looked just fine away from Florida. St. Louis scored in the first period and then set up Lecavalier’s 15th goal that made it 2-1. Tampa Bay, second in the Eastern Conference, played on the road for the first time since Jan. 21.

Dwayne Roloson stopped 22 shots as the Lightning completed a four-game sweep of the Rangers, a potential first-round playoff opponent.

Brandon Prust scored a short-handed goal in the second period for New York, which had a two-game winning streak snapped. Henrik Lundqvist made 17 saves.

The Rangers welcomed defenseman Bryan McCabe, who made his debut with the team after being acquired from Florida on Saturday, but they were again without top-line forward Marian Gaborik (concussion), stalwart defenseman Marc Staal (knee), and forward Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder).

After having three straight power plays in the first period, the Rangers were short-handed six consecutive times. It proved to be costly when Dan Girardi (boarding) and Brian Boyle (delay of game) were sent off 53 seconds apart in the third.

Lightning coach Guy Boucher used his timeout and the move worked when St. Louis sent a pass to Lecavalier in the right circle for a one-timer that beat Lundqvist at 2:40.

The power-play streak was broken with 6:48 left when Lightning defenseman Brett Clark was called for holding, but Tampa Bay killed the penalty.

Prust got the Rangers even 9:42 into the second period when he crashed the net with the puck on a breakaway and shoved a shot and Roloson into the cage. Roloson complained as the goal was reviewed by video replay and allowed to stand.

The Rangers tied Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for the NHL lead with 10 short-handed goals. Tampa Bay dropped into a tie with Buffalo, having given up a league-worst 11 goals while on a power play. Prust has scored four of his 10 goals while New York was short-handed.

Off a 3-on-2 rush up ice, Steve Downie fed a pass into the right circle to St. Louis, who fired a one-timer from a tough angle that beat Lundqvist between the pads for his 24th goal of the season.

The Lightning locked down the Rangers all period, holding New York to just four shots in the period despite giving up three power plays. The Rangers recorded only one shot during the advantages, and had just one overall in the period until a three-shot flurry in the final minute.

Brandon Dubinsky had the only real scoring chance in the first for New York with a drive from the slot that hit Roloson and caromed off both posts with about 55 seconds remaining.

The pace – and the hard-hitting – picked up in the second. This time it was the Lightning who had all three power-play chances, but couldn’t convert. After racking up only seven shots in the first, Tampa Bay was held to five in the second and gave up nine.

Notes: Prust has two goals in three games after going eight without one. He has six short-handed points this season. … St. Louis has a nine-game point streak (four goals, nine assists). … Lecavalier reached the 15-goal mark for the 11th time in his 12 NHL seasons. … Tampa Bay swept the season series from the Rangers for the first time since 1996-97.