Rangers done in by nemesis again, see winning streak end at 9
A power-play miscue cost the New York Rangers a chance at equaling the longest winning streak in team history.
Valtteri Filppula’s short-handed goal snapped a tie late in the third period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning ended the Rangers’ nine-game run with a 2-1 victory Thursday night.
"It doesn’t matter how many games you win, when you play you want to win every game," New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "This one, the way we lose, it’s extremely frustrating."
Dominic Moore scored for the Rangers, who fell one short of matching the franchise record of 10 straight wins accomplished in 1939-40 and 1972-73.
In their first meeting since Tampa Bay beat the Rangers in Game 7 of last season’s Eastern Conference final, Filppula scored with 1:05 to play off a 2-on-1 pass from J.T. Brown.
"Maybe I was a little too aggressive (on Brown)," Lundqvist said. "A tough way to end it."
Tampa Bay also got a goal from Alex Killorn. Ben Bishop stopped Chris Kreider’s penalty shot in the third and finished with 20 saves, improving to 9-0 against the Rangers in the regular season.
Tampa Bay is 4-7-2 over the last 13 games, scoring 21 goals during that stretch.
"It’s got to turn around at some point," coach Jon Cooper said. "We had to get the break, and clearly that’s a big break. The first short-handed goal of the season to be a game-winner."
The Lightning are without injured forwards Ryan Callahan, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Drouin. All are day to day except for Palat, who could miss three to five more weeks with an ankle injury.
Moore tied it at 1 from in-close at 13:43 of the third after Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman couldn’t control a pass from Bishop behind the net.
"We spent a lot of time in their end," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "Didn’t get enough for it. At the end of the night, this game is about two plays with the puck. Two mistakes that we made, and they made us pay for it."
Killorn opened the scoring 14:47 into the first after Filppula made a nice steal of a pass by Keith Yandle just inside the blue line to set up Killorn’s goal from the high slot.
Nikita Kucherov nearly made it 2-0 on the next shift, but Lundqvist stopped his breakaway shot.
Lundqvist, who is 17-13-6 against the Lightning, stopped 26 shots.
Bishop had two quality saves on Mats Zuccarello during the second. The goalie also turned away Kreider’s penalty shot at 3:51 of the third.
Lundqvist kept the Rangers within one with a pad save on Braydon Coburn during the final minute of the second.
Notes: Filppula’s goal was his first in 18 games. … It was the second time this season the Lightning held a lead after the first period. … Moore ended a 13-game goal drought with his second this season. … Tampa Bay recalled LW Mike Angelidis and D Luke Witkowski from Syracuse, and reassigned D Matt Taormina to the AHL club.