MARK DIDTLER, Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The New York Rangers got back on track in a game dominated by the goalies.
Mika Zibanejad scored 3:56 into overtime, Antti Raanta made 38 saves, and the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 on Monday night.
Zibanejad beat Andrei Vasilevskiy during a breakaway off a pass from Ryan McDonagh.
The Rangers, leading the Eastern Conference top wild-card race and two points behind Pittsburgh and Columbus for second in the Metropolitan Division, had lost three of four.
“When the clock was going in the third period, you start seeing that it might be one goal is what is going to decide the game,” Raanta said. “Both teams had good looks but couldn’t score before the OT.”
Raanta got his third shutout of the season.
Vasilevskiy stopped 33 shots and Tampa Bay, 8-2-3 over the past 13 games, moved within two points of New York Islanders for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
“We’ve been playing really well,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s one of those games that I thought both teams deserved a point. I thought we deserved the other one.”
The Rangers failed to score on three power plays, and are 1 for 36 over the past 14 games. Tampa Bay, with NHL’s third-best power play, went 0 for 6.
“We just need to be physical, we need to have that kind of mentality that where not going to be pushed around,” Raanta said. “I think that’s how we played.”
Gabriel Dumont had his backhand turned aside by Raanta at the midpoint of the third.
Rick Nash had a chance from the low right circle in the final minute of regulation, but Vasilevskiy made the save to keep it scoreless.
Vasilevskiy stopped Pavel Buchnevich’s in-close power-play shot in the first, and had a nifty save late in the second on Brady Skjei.
Raanta fully extended his right pad to block a point-blank shot during the first by Ondrej Palat, and withstood a stretch midway through the second where Tampa Bay had a series of good scoring chances.
“What you saw was great goaltending at both ends,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “Both teams working extremely hard. Hard-fought game by both teams.”
NOTES: New York is 5-0 in overtime. … The Lightning have not announced when C Steven Stamkos, out since right knee surgery in November, will fully participate in practice. He is taking part in limited drills. … New York RW Michael Grabner (hip) missed his third consecutive game but took part in the morning skate. He had three goals in the only other meeting between the teams this season, a Rangers’ 6-1 win on Oct. 30. … Rangers D Kevin Klein (back spasms) didn’t make the trip. … Tampa Bay RW Nikita Kucherov had his six-game point streak (seven goals, 14 points) end.
Rangers: Play the second of a four-game trip Tuesday night at Florida.
Lightning: Host Minnesota on Thursday night in the second of three straight games at home.