NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at Tampa Bay
(Friday, April 2nd)
Final Score: NY Rangers 5, Tampa Bay 0
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Henrik Lundqvist stopped 30 shots for his fourth shutout of the season to help the New York Rangers to a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Brandon Prust, Brandon Dubinsky, Marc Staal, Vinny Prospal and Aaron Voros each had a goal for the Rangers, who have won four of their last five.
The win gives the Rangers 80 points on the season, two behind Philadelphia and idle Boston for the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia lost to Montreal, 1-0, on Friday. The Rangers are also locked in a ninth-place tie with the Thrashers, but have one more win and a game in hand.
"The guys spotted me four goals right off the bat and that helps a lot," said Lundqvist. "It was a big win tonight cause every game we have left is a big game. We just have to keep playing like we did tonight."
Mike Smith was shelled for four goals on seven shots in defeat for the Lightning, who have dropped three of their last four. Antero Niittymaki played the second and third periods and gave up just one goal on 15 shots.
"I thought we played well tonight but we just couldn't get the puck in the net," said Tampa forward Martin St. Louis. "We had the power plays and we had the opportunities, we just couldn't get a goal."
It was all New York in the first period as the team lit the lamp four times in the frame to take command.
Prust got the first goal of the contest at the 3:09 mark when he brought the puck out from behind the right side of the net and jammed it in.
Just 25 seconds later, Staal made it a 2-0 game when his wrister from the outside left circle found its way into the right corner of the net.
Prospal made it a 3-0 game at 11:21 when he brought the puck out from the deep left boards and banked a shot off the skate of a Lightning defender and in.
Dubinsky capped the outburst with 5:05 to play in the frame as his slap shot on the power play beat Smith.
After a scoreless second period, Voros made it 5-0 with 6:10 to play as his shot from behind the net caught Niittymaki by surprise and the goaltender knocked it into his own net.
New York took three of four from Tampa Bay this season and have won nine of 12 from the Bolts since October, 2007...Lundqvist has 24 shutouts in his career...The Rangers last blanked the Lightning in Tampa on November 25, 2003, a 2-0 decision...New York plays in Florida on Saturday...Tampa has off until Tuesday when it will host Carolina.
04/02 23:23:59 ET