Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 2/2/13
TAMPA – It took a back-up goaltender, of all things, to finally slow down the Tampa Bay Lightning. Martin Biron made 30 saves behind a stout New York Rangers defense on Saturday and held on for a 3-2 win that broke the Tampa Bay Lightning’s five-game win streak and sent them to their first loss in five home games. Scoring was minimal -- partly because just three penalties were called -- in a game featuring two backups. Biron was making his first start of the season as all-star Henrik Lundquist rested after starting his seventh game on Friday. The Lightning entered averaging 5.29 goals per game and had scored eight in a win against Winnipeg on Friday. Mathieu Garon was sharp for the Lightning (6-2-0) until the final period, when Rick Nash scored twice to break a 1-1 tie. Nash gave York took a 2-1 lead with 16:56 left in regulation when he eluded defenseman Victor Hedman with the puck along the right side and curled in along the back line to slip a shot by Garon. It was Nash’s second goal of the year and came on an assist from former Lightning Conn Smythe-winner Brad Richards. Tampa Bay had not trailed since the 59-second mark against Philadelphia four games and 11 periods earlier, a span of 208 minutes, 30 seconds. Nash added a clincher with 5:13 on a break-in and quick poke through Garon’s skates. Tampa Bay, which already led the league with 12 power play goals, used its first man advantage of the game to take a 1-0 lead with 16:44 left in the second period, as Steven Stamkos found an undefended space in the slot and wristed a pass from Matt Carle. The goal was Stamkos’ sixth. He added another with 21 seconds left after the Lightning pulled Garon for an extra attacker. New York (4-4-0) responded with a score just moments after its first power play expired, as Derek Stepan jammed in Mathieu Garon’s save of a Taylor Pyatt attempt with 10:10 left in the period. Tampa Bay had a goal disallowed four minutes later when it was ruled B.J. Crombeen used a high stick. NOTES: With a second period goal, Lightning C Steven Stamkos has at least a point in all eight games this season. ... The scoreless first period was just the fourth in 21 periods for the Lightning this season. ... The Lightning entered play with the top two plus/minus leaders, defensemen Sami Salo (+11) and Victor Hedman (+10). ... Rangers coach John Tortorella and C Brad Richards, who won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004, were the subjects of video presentations as part of the Lightning’s 20th anniversary commemoration. ... Rangers rookie Chris Kreider (ankle) missed his fifth straight game. He has participated in three straight optional skates but has yet to practice, which he expects to be a prerequisite for playing. … Henrik Lunquist had started seven straight in goal for the Rangers before Mathieu Garon made his first of the season on Saturday. ... Back-up Mathieu Garon made his second start with Anders Lindback having started on Friday in an 8-3 win over Winnipeg. ... The teams will meet just once this season.
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