NEW YORK (AP) — Brayden Point and Cedric Paquette each scored two goals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning stopped a three-game slide with a 7-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday night.
J.T. Miller added a power-play goal in the third period as Tampa Bay regained first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference with 108 points. Dan Girardi also scored against his former team, Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist, and backup goalie Louis Domingue made 28 saves.
The Lightning fell from the top spot for the first time since mid-October when they lost to the Bruins on Thursday night.
Leading 2-1 entering the third period, Miller, Paquette and Point scored in the first 2:38 to blow the game open.
Miller jammed in a rebound of Victor Hedman’s shot from the point 35 seconds into the period. Hedman finished with two assists.
Paquette added his second of the game 1:18 later when he took a pass from Cory Conacher and sent his shot off the post and into the net. Point finished the run 45 seconds later when he scored his 29th of the season on a 3-on-1 break.
Point added his second of the game on an empty-netter, and Girardi scored a power-play goal in the final minute.
New York rookie Filip Chytil got his first NHL goal. Chris Kreider and Brady Skjei also scored for the Rangers, and Ondrej Pavelec made 43 saves.
Tampa Bay’s only visit to Madison Square Garden this season came in the Rangers’ home finale.
Before the game, the Rangers played a video tribute honoring Ryan McDonagh, Girardi and Miller.
McDonagh, a former captain, spent parts of eight seasons with the Rangers before being traded at the February deadline with Miller. Girardi played nearly 800 games with the Rangers over parts of 11 years.
The Rangers opened the scoring in the first period when defenseman Skjei wristed a shot from the top of the right circle past Domingue at 14:59 for his fourth of the season.
Paquette tied it for the Lightning early in the second period. Mikhail Sergachev took a shot from the point and Paquette poked in the loose puck for his fourth goal at 3:15.
Just 1:18 later, Killorn gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead with his 15th goal. Anthony Cirelli sent a pass to Killorn in the slot. Killorn sent it on net and knocked in his own rebound.
Domingue preserved the lead when he made a sliding pad save on Kreider on a Rangers power play midway through the period.
Chytil scored when he knocked in Mats Zuccarello’s shot that banked off the end boards at 8:14 of the third. And Kreider made it 5-3 at 16:31 with his 16th of the season.
Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos and Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich had an unexpected fight after the first period after Buchnevich tripped Nikita Kucherov. Buchnevich got a minor for tripping and a fighting major. Stamkos got an instigating minor, fighting major and a 10-minute misconduct.
NOTES: Goalie Henrik Lundqvist won the 30th annual Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. The award is presented to the Ranger who “goes above and beyond the call of duty” as chosen by fans. The award, given annually since the 1987-88 season, is named after New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986, and died on Jan. 10, 2017. … The Rangers finished 21-16-4 at home this season.
Lightning: Host Nashville on Sunday.
Rangers: Travel to Carolina to face the Hurricanes on Saturday night.
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