Comebacks just don't happen against the King and his court.
But on Friday night, the Lightning stormed their way past goaltender "King" Henrik Lundqvist and the stingy New York Rangers with a 4-3 overtime victory in front of an announced sellout crowd of 19,204.
Teddy Purcell led the charge with a goal and two assists, and Steven Stamkos scored his 45th goal of the season — matching last season's total — and added an assist. Tampa Bay is within four points of a playoff spot with 18 games remaining and two games in hand on No.8 seed Winnipeg, as well as six points behind division-leading Florida.
Ryan Malone's goal with 3 minutes, 2 seconds left in the extra period lifted the Lightning to an improbable victory after they fell behind by two goals against a team that rarely relinquishes leads. The Rangers entered Friday with a 29-1-2 record when scoring first and 26-0-2 when leading after two periods.
"Our players have really developed this mental toughness to fight through, and that was only two goals," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "That's how we feel — it's only two goals."
It has been that sort of never-say-quit attitude that had allowed Tampa Bay to hang around the playoff perimeter and stay in the hunt.
Against the league's stingiest team — a league-low 130 goals allowed coming in — and perhaps the runaway winner of the Vezina Trophy this season in Lundqvist, who had allowed two or fewer goals in 12 consecutive starts, the Lightning kept pushing forward.
Malone, Bolts complete comeback over Rangers
Tampa Tribune | Mar 3