Callahan scores twice on his return to the Big Apple


Wed, Nov 19, 2014 - Page 20

Ryan Callahan scored two goals in his first game against his former New York Rangers teammates as the surging Tampa Bay Lightning rode another big offensive outburst to a 5-1 victory on Monday.

Callahan netted the second of Tampa Bay’s two first-period goals and then closed the scoring with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left in the game for the Lightning, who lead the NHL with 71 goals in 19 games.

Nikita Kucherov also scored in the opening frame, while Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn had goals in the second after New York closed within a goal.

Stamkos also had two assists, as did Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Valtteri Filppula.

Ben Bishop made 15 saves on New York’s season-low 16 shots.

The Lightning (13-4-2), a point behind the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Canadiens, are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.

Tampa Bay improved to 12-0 when Callahan scores since he was acquired from the Rangers in the captain-swap trade that sent Martin St Louis to New York on March 5.

St Louis, the Lightning’s career points leader, scored a power-play goal in the second period for the Rangers, 1-3-2 in their past six. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 25 shots.

The Lightning grabbed a two-goal lead in a span of 7:30 in the first period.

Just after Bishop stopped St Louis on a chance in front, the Lightning got on the board at the other end.

Johnson sent a crisp pass that sent Kucherov in alone on Lundqvist. He flipped a shot that hit Lundqvist, but found its way between the goalie’s pads as he was falling backward into the net at 6:50.

It was Kucherov’s seventh of the season — all in the past 12 games — and his 14th point in that span. Johnson has 19 points in 16 games.

Callahan doubled the lead during a power play on the Lightning’s fourth shot.

Stamkos deftly worked the puck low from the left circle and found Callahan alone at the right post with a pass for a slam-shot that Lundqvist had no chance to stop.

Callahan has four goals and five assists in his past six games.

While there were Rangers jerseys with his name on the back and the familiar “C” on the front, Callahan heard early boos when he touched the puck. Those turned to cheers about seven minutes in when a video tribute to him and fellow former Rangers Brian Boyle and Anton Stralman, with the message: “Thanks for the memories. We salute you,” was shown on the scoreboard.

The warm reception reverted to boos when Callahan scored.