Hagelin strikes twice in Rangers' win over Lightning
by Michael Rappaport/Correspondent
For the second consecutive game, the New York Rangers used an early goal to jumpstart a dominant performance.
Carl Hagelin scored 31 seconds into the contest, Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves and the Blueshirts beat the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second time this season, 5-1.
The Rangers got off to a quick start when Hagelin redirected a shot from Rick Nash past Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon. It was just the fourth time the Rangers got the game’s first goal this season.
Late in the period, Darroll Powe forced a Lightning turnover, and Ryan Callahan scored on a breakaway to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
In between the two tallies, Lundqvist preserved the Blueshirts lead. Although he only faced six shots in the opening frame, Tampa Bay was credited with six odd-man rushes during the period.
“The most important part of the game was Hank in the first period,” Tortorella declared. “We’re up 2-0, but we were giving up chance after chance.
“We could have easily been down 3-2.”
Hagelin recorded his second goal of the game at the midway point of the second period. The goal chased Garon, who allowed three goals on 19 shots.
Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier ended Lundqvist’s shutout bid with 5:18 remaining in the second period. After Lundqvist made a left pad save on a shot from Victor Hedman, the puck went right to Lecavalier, who buried the rebound for his fifth goal of the season.
In the third period, Arron Asham tallied his first goal as a Ranger, and Rick Nash capped off an outstanding night in all three zones by scoring with nine seconds left in the game.
Game Notes: Hagelin tied a career-high with three points. All three of Hagelin’s goals this year have come against the Lightning. Dating back to last season, the Rangers are 17-3-2 against the Southeast Division. Dan Girardi returned to the lineup after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. Girardi recorded two assists and had a plus-four plus-minus rating in 22:10 of ice time. Brian Boyle was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.