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Game Recap

New York Rangers 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 5 FINAL

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

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New York Rangers 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 5 FINAL
New York Rangers 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 5

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ If there's one word Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella can use to describe his team it's consistent.

``You can't even put on one hand how many games we haven't been ready to play,'' Tortorella said Friday night after the Southeast Division champions set a franchise record for points in a season by extending their unbeaten streak to 11 games with a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers.

``Now's not the time to bring it in and be counting them on two hands. This is a time where we really need to stay on top of things. We're spending our days with our tape, going over the minute things.''

NHL points leader Martin St. Louis scored two goals and assisted on a third for the Lightning, who increased their lead in the race for the Presidents' Trophy to three points over Western Conference leader Detroit.

Vincent Lecavalier had two goals and two assists, while the victory gave the Lightning 95 points _ two more they amassed last season when they won their first division title and made their first playoff appearance in seven years.

``They have lots of confidence right now,'' New York's Karel Rachunek said. ``They move the puck perfectly and shoot from everywhere.''

St. Louis' goals were his 33rd and 34th of the season, setting a career high for the All-Star winger. With 50 assists, he has 84 points.

Tampa Bay improved to 26-3-2-4 since Jan. 3 and its 18-game points streak (14-0-2-2) is the longest in the NHL this season. The Lightning have won a league-best seven straight at home and haven't lost anywhere in regulation since Feb. 2.

``This is a good hockey club, the No. 1 team in the National Hockey League, and not by accident,'' Rangers coach Tom Renney said. ``As much as you want to respect your opponent, we probably respect them to the point where we stood still and let them control the hockey game.''

Lecavalier set up Cory Stillman's power-play goal in the opening period. He got his second assist on St. Louis' first goal, then took advantage of a lucky bounce to give Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead.

The Lightning center scored when Mark Messier's clearing pass glanced off St. Louis' skate and bounded back toward the New York goal to Lecavalier, who beat goalie Mike Dunham from the right circle.

The Rangers trimmed their deficit to 3-2 with goals by Tom Poti and Jan Hlavac within a two-minute span of the second period. It stayed that way until St. Louis and Lecavalier answered with their second goals of the night in the first seven minutes of the final period.

``Marty scored and then I scored right after that,'' Lecavalier said. ``It's not a secret. We weren't winning the battles (in the second period). We weren't sharp. But we talked about it in the locker room and came out and played hard in the third and won the game.''

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Cory Stillman (23) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (28), Dan Boyle (26)
1 - 0 TBL
2nd Period
Martin St. Louis (33) ASST: Ruslan Fedotenko (20), Vincent Lecavalier (29)
2 - 0 TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (28) ASST: Martin St. Louis (50)
3 - 0 TBL
PPG - Tom Poti (10) ASST: Fedor Tyutin (3), Mark Messier (23)
3 - 1 TBL
Jan Hlavac (5) ASST: Jaromir Jagr (41)
3 - 2 TBL
3rd Period
PPG - Martin St. Louis (34) ASST: Brad Richards (46), Pavel Kubina (17)
4 - 2 TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (29) ASST: Ruslan Fedotenko (21)
5 - 2 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
Pavel Kubina  Hi-sticking
Karel Rachunek  Holding
Dale Purinton  Hi-sticking
2nd Period
Jassen Cullimore  Boarding
3rd Period
Dale Purinton  Hooking - Obstruction
Jan Hlavac  Hi-sticking
Dan Boyle  Holding
goalie stats
Mike Dunham
Mike Dunham
SA: 37TOI: 60:00
Saves: 32EV: 22 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 10
SV%: .865SH: 2 - 2
Nikolai Khabibulin
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 25 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 1
SV%: .929SH: 1 - 1