for this game

Smith helps Lightning shut down Rangers

Mar 16, 2008 - 3:59 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Mike Smith helped make the New York Rangers' trip to Florida pointless.

Smith made 20 saves for his third shutout of the season and also recorded an assist as the Tampa Bay Lighting blanked the Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

Defenseman Alexandre Picard, All-Star Martin St. Louis and Michel Ouellet scored for the Lightning, who have won three straight for the first time since January 18-22.

"The whole theme, and it's gone on for a long time here, is we're defending very well," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "I think we gave up 10 chances. I think (Smith) was involved in a few of those, but we're defending well."

New York, which was shut out for the sixth time this season, had recorded at least one point in 13 consecutive games (10-0-3) before dropping a 3-2 decision to the Florida Panthers in Sunrise on Friday.

"This whole weekend, just wash it away," Rangers All-Star center Scott Gomez said. "We're better than that. We know it. We give an effort like this, this is what happens. Everyone should be pretty upset with themselves."

Saturday's loss also kept the Rangers (37-26-9) just one point ahead of the Boston Bruins (37-27-8) for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Boston defeated Philadelphia, 3-2, in overtime earlier in the day.

Smith stopped seven shots in the first period, four in the second and nine in the third to post his first shutout with Tampa Bay and sixth career.

"This was nice," Smith said. "(The shutout) was just a bonus. The most important thing is, we're playing well as a team and we're finding ways to win."

Picard preserved the shutout with six minutes remaining by sliding in front of an empty net to block a shot by New York captain Jaromir Jagr after Smith failed to clear the puck.

"I wanted to shoot right away," Jagr said. "I didn't think the defender would slide there. If I would have held it, the goalie would have slid back into the net."

Smith, who was acquired from Dallas at the trade deadline on February 26, raised his record to 15-14-0 overall this season.

"It's such a tremendous asset to have a goalie that can move the puck and a goalie that has enough jam to do it," Tortorella said.

After a scoreless first period, the Lightning gave Smith all the support he needed late in the second.

With both teams down a skater, Picard backhanded a rebound past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on the stick side with 47 seconds remaining in the period for a 1-0 edge.

"I just went up to the play and Jeff Halpern had the shot on net," Picard said. "I was just sticking in front, hoping for a rebound, and it popped out right on my stick. So I was fortunate."

It was Picard's second goal in nine games with the Lightning.

Tampa Bay doubled the lead during a power play early in the third. Lundqvist stopped Jussi Jokinen's redirection of defenseman Dan Boyle's shot, but St. Louis buried the rebound at 6:40 for his 23rd goal of the season.

In the game's final minute, the 25-year-old Smith cleared the puck out of his zone and toward the empty net. But Ouellet corralled it and scored to seal the win.

"It's been a while," Smith said. "I wasn't upset I didn't get the goal. I was battling the puck out of the net all night, so I was glad to get one in the air."

It was Smith's first NHL assist.

Lundqvist made 27 saves for New York, which fell to 3-6-1 in its last 10 games here.

"This was very disappointing," Lundqvist said. "We came on this trip with a lot of confidence and we felt like our game was where it should be be."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 0 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TAM - ALEXANDRE PICARD 2 (JUSSI JOKINEN, MATHIEU DARCHE)
    19:13
    3RD PRD: TAM - (PP) MARTIN ST. LOUIS 23 (JUSSI JOKINEN, DAN BOYLE)
    6:40
    TAM - (EN) MICHEL OUELLET 15 (MIKE SMITH) 19:02
    POWER-PLAY CONVERS

    Mar 15 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 0
    TAMPA BAY 3
    3RD PRD: TAM - (EN) MICHEL OUELLET 15 (MIKE SMITH) 19:02

    Rangers 0, Lightning 3  3rd - 0:58Mar 15 9:54 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 0
    TAMPA BAY 2
    3RD PRD: TAM - (PP) MARTIN ST. LOUIS 23 (JUSSI JOKINEN, DAN BOYLE)
    6:40

    Rangers 0, Lightning 2  3rd - 13:20Mar 15 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) ALEXANDRE PICARD 2 (JUSSI JOKINEN, MATHIEU
    DARCHE) 19:13
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 7 4 11
    TAM 5 16 21
    GOALI

    Mar 15 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) ALEXANDRE PICARD 2 (JUSSI JOKINEN, MATHIEU DARCHE)
    19:13

    Rangers 0, Lightning 1  2nd - 0:47Mar 15 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 7 7
    TAM 5 5
    GOALIES: NYR - HENRIK LUNDQVIST
    TAM - MIKE SMITH

    Mar 15 8:10 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. LightningMar 15 6:56 AM