Naslund leads Rangers over Lightning

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TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Markus Naslund scored two goals in

regulation and added a tally in the first round of a shootout as

the New York Rangers skated to a 3-2 triumph over the Tampa Bay

Lightning on Wednesday.

Nikolai Zherdev had two assists and also scored in the bonus

format, while Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves before denying

Radim Vrbata and Jussi Jokinen in the shootout to secure the

victory.

Ryan Malone and veteran Mark Recchi each scored for the

Lightning, who have dropped seven of their last eight contests.

"We're just having a tough time scoring goals," Lightning coach

Rick Tocchet said. "It's a little disappointing, but we got to

roll up the sleeves and go to work. ... We're not going to back

down from it. ... You're not talking about loose pucks, going

to the net, things like that."

After Lundqvist turned aside Vrbata's attempt, Naslund

capitalized with a backhander that flew past the glove of Tampa

Bay goaltender Mike Smith in the first round.

"It's a special play, for sure, and it's a nice feeling when you

do score because there's points on the line and you want to

help," Naslund said. "You can't expect Henrik to save them all

so, it's nice to get a couple for him."

Then, Jokinen's wrist shot was stopped and Zherdev clinched the

win with a snap shot.

Naslund opened the scoring 2:40 into the second period, but

Malone beat Lundqvist with the man advantage while sitting on

the doorstep 89 seconds later to even the game.

"We know that this is a tough building to play in and they're a

desperate team," Naslund said. "We had to work hard to get the

win, but it was nice to get it."

With 2:03 remaining in the session, Naslund redirected

defenseman Michal Rozsival's initial attempt while positioned in

the slot to give New York another one-goal lead. Naslund now

has 15 points - eight goals and seven assists - in his last 17

games.

"We were going to win the game," Rangers coach Tom Renney said.

"To a man, everybody says we're going to get that back (in the

shootout) and win the hockey game and it was as simple as that.

So that's what you want to hear as a coach."

Lundqvist was impenetrable in the third until Tampa Bay pulled

Smith for the extra skater and Recchi deflected a shot from

Martin St. Louis past the Swedish netminder with 50 seconds

left.

"I didn't see it. I had to go down to block it and the last

time I saw it, it just bounced, hit the post and in," Lundqvist

said. "A lot of times, that's the way you score goals late in

games. There's a lot of traffic in front. A lot of times it's

not the hardest shot, it's more the tricky shot that goes in.

"At first, I was disappointed, but now when you've got two

points you don't really care. "We settled down and we came out

pretty good in the overtime."

Smith finished with 33 saves and captain Vincent Lecavalier had

an assist, extending his points streak to five games.

"It's disappointing, obviously, not getting the two points but

it's not a lack of effort," St. Louis said. "If we play like

that and battle like that, game in, game out, I like our chances

of coming out on top. The guys stepped up after a poor game we

had against the Devils (a 7-3 loss on Sunday). It's just

unfortunate we didn't get the two points."

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