TAMPA, Florida — Russia’s Nikita Kucherov scored in overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 6-5 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday, taking a 2-1 lead in their NHL Eastern Conference finals series.
Ondrej Palat had two goals and an assist, and Tyler Johnson, Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn each had one goal and an assist for the Lightning.
The 21-year-old Kucherov, part of the high-scoring `Triplets’ line that is leading Tampa Bay’s playoff run, scored his second overtime winner of this postseason.
Linemate Ondrej Palat had two goals and an assist, and Tyler Johnson �X the other triplet �X had his playoff-leading 12th goal, as well as an assist.
��They’ve impressed me for a long time, and now they’re impressing the world,�� Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. ��It’s fun to watch.��
Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn each had one goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. The Lightning overcame an early 2-0 deficit and won despite also squandering a two-goal lead to the resilient Rangers.
The winner came about a minute after New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist made a terrific stop on J.T. Brown’s breakaway.
New York had tied it 5-5 on Dan Boyle’s rebound with 1:56 left in regulation. Jesper Fast scored twice, and the Rangers also got power-play goals from Derick Brassard and Ryan McDonagh.
��It was deflating, but at the same time … we felt like we deserved the game,�� Johnson said about losing the lead late in regulation.
��We worked hard and were happy with the way we played,�� added Johnson, whose hat trick keyed the Lightning’s 6-2 road victory in Game 2. ��We knew if we just kept on playing, played our game, we were going to get a bounce. Luckily for us, we got that bounce before them.��
The Rangers came back after trailing 4-2, with Fast scoring his second goal late in the second period and McDonagh converting a power-play opportunity early in the third.
��We’ve got a pretty quick team and they have a quick team,�� Cooper said. ��It’s just, pardon the pun, it’s lightning fast. It’s just amazing how the skill level and the speed and how these guys can play the way they do at that high pace.��