A pair of goals from the now 21-year old Brayden Point was the difference, as the Tampa Bay Lightning continues to find ways to win games and earn points as the Bolts beat the New York Rangers Monday night 3-2 at Madison Square Garden. Point celebrated his birthday with his first career multi-goal game and the Bolts keep pace just a point behind the idle Maple Leafs for the second wild card playoff position.
Things didn’t start well for the birthday boy and his team, as the Lightning were dominated in shots on goal as backup goaltender Peter Budji was facing bullets from all angles. The Rangers offensive attack was very active and earned the first tally of the game as Steven Kampfer found the back of the net early in the first to give New York the early lead.
Point began his birthday night in NYC with the tying goal on the man advantage for the Bolts on a nice wrap around pass from Nikita Kucherov, and the game was tied at one heading into the first intermission.
Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead early in the second period as Jason Garrison threw the puck at the net and Rangers goaltender Antti Raanta, where it was deflected on the course y Gabriel Dumont and finding the back of the Rangers net. New York tied the game five minutes later as Garrison found himself giving up the puck on a bad turnover in the Bolts end, only to be picked up by Michael Grabner who slid a backhand shot past Budji tying the game at two.
That’s when Point struck for the second time in the game late in the third period as the young winger flew right up the middle and put a wrister past Raanta for the game’s go-ahead goal. Tampa Bay led 3-2 and held on for their 9th point in their last five games.
Budji finished with 26 saves earning his first win with the Tampa Bay Lightning while Nikita Kucherov finished with two assists.
The Lightning will head to Ottawa for a date with the Senators tomorrow night. You can catch all the action on 970AM WFLA beginning with the pre-game at 7:00pm, and a 7:30pm faceoff.
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