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Tampa Bay at New York

Drury has special teams hat trick in Rangers' win over Lightning

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Rangers coach Tom Renney wouldn't reveal what wrinkle was added to his team's struggling power play. Whatever it was, captain Chris Drury made the most of it.

Drury scored two of New York's three man-advantage goals and chipped in a short-handed tally for his second NHL hat trick, lifting the Rangers to a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

"I have to give a lot of credit to (assistant coach) Perry Pearn. He made some adjustments," Drury said. "He makes sure we're always prepared. Tonight it paid off."

Drury brought hats raining to the ice with 27.5 seconds remaining during a 5-on-3 power play that was earned after Lightning goalie Mike Smith slashed and high-sticked forward Aaron Voros in front of the crease and then fought him.

"You usually don't get hurt fighting but you might get hurt with a spear or slash to the back of the leg," Renney said. "It was completely unprovoked and I think Smith should be suspended."

More important than that and the Rangers' first regular-season hat trick in nearly two years, was New York's win after a pair of tough losses.

The Rangers gave up five goals in the third period at Toronto on Saturday after leading 2-0, and then allowed two short-handed goals to the New York Islanders in the third during Tuesday's 2-1 defeat.

The power play had connected only 10 times in 74 chances before Thursday and never more than twice in a game, leaving the Rangers second from the bottom in NHL efficiency.

"We worked on what we've been working on all year," Renney said. "It wasn't like we did anything extraordinary."

Ryan Callahan also had a power-play goal, and Marc Staal pushed the Rangers' lead to 4-2 in the third, 29 seconds after Ryan Malone got the Lightning within one for the second time.

Martin St. Louis had the other goal for the Lightning, who lost for the second straight night after a three-game winning streak. They are 4-2-4 since a pair of 2-1 losses to the Rangers during the season-opening series in the Czech Republic.

"This team dominated us a month ago, but tonight was a totally different story," Lightning coach Barry Melrose said. "It shows we're going in the right direction."

Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves for the Rangers (11-4-1).

"There were a couple of stretches when they were all over us," Lundqvist said. "We just battled and scored some big goals at the right time."

Nearly 90 seconds into their first power-play chance, Nikolai Zherdev fed a perfect pass into the slot to Callahan, who received it while crouching and fired a one-timer past Smith to make it 1-0 with 3:51 left in the first.

The Lightning didn't get a power-play opportunity until Zherdev was caught cross-checking 42-year-old agitator Gary Roberts in front of the Lightning bench 13:13 into the second. Before the retaliation, Zherdev had been roughed up by Roberts, Chris Gratton and Adam Hall.

But Drury pushed the Rangers' lead to 2-0 with New York's first short-handed goal of the season. He picked off a pass from Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger in the neutral zone and took off on a breakaway.

"It's great to see him play out there and get rewarded because he works so hard," Lundqvist said. "He definitely deserves this."

Smith dropped to his side in front of the oncharging Drury, who deftly moved to his right to get around the fallen goalie, and scored into an empty net with 5:37 left in the second.

"It feels pretty good, especially after losing two games back-to-back," Drury said. "It's a big win for our club."

St. Louis got the Lightning to 2-1 with 1:24 remaining, scoring his second goal in two nights. He scored against the Rangers in the opening game of the season and didn't net another until the Lightning's 4-3 shootout loss at New Jersey on Wednesday.

"We played better tonight than we did in Prague and that was a 2-1 game," St. Louis said. "Tonight I thought we played hard. Our special teams hurt us a little bit, obviously.

"It's kind of hard to bounce back from that."

Drury restored the Rangers' two-goal lead 35 seconds into the third with his power-play tally.

Malone made it 3-2 at 7:58, but Staal responded at 8:27.

Notes

  • The Lightning activated RW Radim Vrbata from the injured list after he missed five games due to a groin injury.
  • The teams will meet once more, Nov. 26 at Tampa Bay.
  • New York's previous regular-season hat trick was accomplished by Martin Straka on Jan. 4, 2007, against Philadelphia.
  • Zherdev and Rangers D Michal Rozsival had two assists each.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Chris Drury starts his three-goal game with a short-handed tally in the second. (Getty Images)
Chris Drury starts his three-goal game with a short-handed tally in the second. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (4-4-4)0112
NY Rangers  (11-4-1) «1135
Three Stars
C. Drury
NYR


Goals: 3
Assist(s): 0
H. Lundqvist
NYR


Saves: 36
Save Pct.: .947
N. Zherdev
NYR


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
16:09Power Play - Ryan Callahan (5), Snap Shot. Assist: Zherdev, Rozsival
2ND PERIOD
14:23Short - Chris Drury (3), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
18:36Martin St. Louis (3), Backhand Shot. Assist: Prospal, Malik
3RD PERIOD
35.0Power Play - Chris Drury (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Gomez, Redden
07:58Power Play - Ryan Malone (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Recchi, St. Louis
08:27Marc Staal (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Zherdev, Voros
19:32Power Play - Chris Drury (5), Snap Shot. Assist: Kalinin, Rozsival
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:54Voros, 5 min, Fighting
09:54Malone, 5 min, Fighting
14:47Artyukhin, 2 min, Hooking
17:28Stamkos, 2 min, Delay of Game
2ND PERIOD
07:17Gratton, 2 min, Hooking
13:13Zherdev, 2 min, Cross-Checking
19:52Malik, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
06:57Redden, 2 min, Hooking
10:36Girardi, 2 min, Interference
16:35Malik, 2 min, Tripping
16:35Recchi, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
18:19Smith, 2 min, Slashing
18:19Smith, 2 min, High-Sticking
18:19Smith, 5 min, Fighting
18:19Voros, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
18:19Voros, 5 min, Fighting
18:19Roberts, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
18:19Roberts, 10 min, Misconduct
Shots On Goal
 123T
Tampa Bay9151438
New York1291435
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Mike Smith59:50305
Henrik Lundqvist59:28362
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Tampa Bay1-for-3
NY Rangers3-for-7
Game Information
Attendance - 18200
Referees - Dave Jackson, Wes McCauley
Linesmen - David Brisebois, Brad Kovachik
 
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