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Rangers top Lightning in Lundqvist's return to net

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: December 29, 2013

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Henrik Lundqvist had a positive return performance to help the New York Rangers pull out a one-goal victory.

Lundqvist made 37 saves in his first start in four games, and Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists in the Rangers' 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.

"Sometimes it's a good thing to get a lot of work," Lundqvist said. "There's been a lot of games where I've been waiting for shots, and then there's been some odd-man rushes or breakaways, and it's been hard to really get the game going.

"A game like this definitely helps you to work on your positioning and a lot of different things, so I'm pleased with the win and the way I played."

Lundqvist watched from the bench as backup Cam Talbot started the previous three games, winning two, after Lundqvist struggled through a 1-4-2 stretch.

"He played a real strong game, gave us a chance to win, especially in the third when they had a real strong push and they were tough to handle," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "He had some huge saves to make, and he did."

Rick Nash, Chris Kreider and Benoit Pouliot also scored for the Rangers, who had three power-play goals. Ryan McDonagh and Derick Brassard had two assists each.

Tampa Bay got goals from Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Valtteri Filppula. The Lightning were coming off a 2-1 shootout loss Saturday night to Montreal.

"They earned that victory," Lightning captain Martin St. Louis said. "We got what we deserved."

The Rangers went up 4-2 on second-period, power-play goals by Kreider and Pouliot.

Kreider beat Anders Lindback with a backhander at 4:35, and Pouliot extended his point streak to seven games with an in-close redirection 3:16 later.

Tampa Bay pulled within 4-3 on Filppula's tip-in 8:14 into the third. It was one of 16 shots the Lightning had on Lundqvist during the period.

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