TAMPA, FLA. – Henrik Lundqvist and a couple of other old standbys picked a nice time to reassert themselves for the New York Rangers.
New York's star goalie reverted to his reliable ways after two subpar performances, and Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis emerged from playoff scoring droughts Friday night to help the Rangers shut down the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Lundqvist stopped 38 shots after allowing 12 goals while losing the previous two games. Nash had two goals and an assist, and St. Louis — the former Tampa Bay captain — contributed a third-period goal as New York evened the best-of-seven series 2-2 heading back home for Game 5 on Sunday night.
"The last 48 hours or so, it's been pretty tough trying not to overanalyze or complicate things soul searching," Lundqvist said. "I feel like the entire team stepped up."
Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos scored for the third consecutive game, briefly making it 1-1 before New York's Chris Kreider and Keith Yandle struck within a 2-minute span for a 3-1 Rangers lead.
With the Lightning's Nikita Nesterov in the penalty box for high-sticking St. Louis, the star of Tampa Bay's 2004 Stanley Cup championship team, delivered his first goal this postseason, making it 4-1 with just under 15 minutes remaining.
Nash, who had one goal over his previous 13 games, added another power-play goal at 11:33 of the third.
The Lightning outshot the Rangers 39-24 but couldn't rattle Lundqvist.
"It's a funny game," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "People are going to wake up in the morning and look at the boxscore and say, 'Oh wow, Tampa got waxed.' But if you're in the building, you probably don't see it that way."