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."
Vinny Lecavalier helps Tampa Bay Lightning edge New York Rangers 2-1
Tampa Bay Times | Feb 28