Vinny Lecavalier on Sunday made the same fist-pumping gesture he usually does after he scores a goal, but even the Lightning captain agreed it was with more gusto.

That's what happens when you regain some self-esteem and help your team win at the same time.

Lecavalier's goal, on the power play and off a booming one-timer 2:40 into the third period, gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 victory over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

And it came one period after his offensive-zone turnover led to Brandon Prust's shorthanded breakaway goal that tied the score 1-1.

"I felt bad," Lecavalier said. "It doesn't matter who scores, but to get it back, really good."

The Lightning (37-18-7), with its third straight win and four-game series sweep of New York, should feel good about gaining two points in what coach Guy Boucher called "probably our worst game of the year."

That might be a bit harsh as New York's ferocious forecheck made finding skating and passing lanes difficult.

Still, Tampa Bay was outshot 23-19, allowed the Rangers 15 puck takeaways and lost 65 percent of faceoffs, including 12 of 16 on the power play.

Yet it found a way to win.

"And that," Boucher said, "counts for something."

What counted was how Lecavalier upped his game after Brian Boyle stripped him of the puck and Prust scored 9:42 into the second period.

Prust might not have had a clean shot on goaltender Dwayne Roloson had Lightning defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron not fallen. But Lecavalier took the blame.

"I wanted to get (the puck) back to the D because (Boyle) came on me," Lecavalier said. "I wasn't sure which side to put it on, and that's the fraction of a second I lost. I was mesmerized by doing something and froze."