NEW YORK — Brad Richards and Brian Boyle showed the mental toughness the New York Rangers have been cultivating all season.
Boyle pounced on a loose puck to score the tying goal in the third period and Richards scored 2:37 into overtime to give the Rangers a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
“It’s like other good teams that I’ve been on. There’s never a panic in the locker room,” Richards said. “We’ve been through it, and we’ve got a game plan. We’ve executed many times and we’re very confident.”
It could have been a discouraging night. The Rangers led for only 21 seconds, squandered several good scoring chances and lost Ruslan Fedotenko when he was hit on the chin.
New York coach John Tortorella said he did not have an update on Fedotenko’s condition, and he did not want to talk about the hit. He had plenty to say about his team’s resilience, though.
“I think it’s a mindset. If you have some success, and we have had some success in the third period, you try to go back to that,” Tortorella said. “We were playing well. They are such an opportunistic team, it doesn’t take much for them to score goals.”
Steven Stamkos demonstrated that by scoring his NHL-best 36th of the season near the end of a first period that had mostly favored the Rangers. Tampa Bay was outshot 10-4 in the first and 31-17 for the game.
The Lightning were coming off a loss at home to Los Angeles, but before that had points in seven straight games, including five wins.