Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Rick Nash registered two goals and one assist as the New York Rangers posted a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Nash totaled a career-high 42 goals during the regular season but scored just two goals in the first 15 games this postseason. His breakout performance and a return-to-form effort from Henrik Lundqvist has the Rangers returning home with the series tied at two games apiece.
Lundqvist made 38 saves after allowing six goals in back-to-back losses.
"Coming off two losses and a lot of goals scored, obviously, you don't feel great," Lundqvist said. "You walk around and you think a lot. To come into this game and be able to play a strong game, that obviously feels good. But it definitely helps when you have great people around you supporting you and giving you good advice, how to move forward and how to approach a game like this."
The club never lost confidence in Lundqvist.
"I think there was a lot of talk about him and about his play, but there wasn't any doubt from within our dressing room," said New York coach Alain Vigneault.
Keith Yandle had a goal and two assists for the Rangers, who remained hot on the power play, scoring two goals with the man advantage for a third consecutive game.
Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop gave up five goals for a second straight game, stopping just 19 shots.
Game 5 will be played at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.
The Lightning had a pair of good scoring chances early in the game.
Nikita Kucherov, who scored the overtime winner in Game 3 on Wednesday night, was wide open in front following a faceoff, but he missed the net. Tyler Johnson then hit the post during a Tampa Bay power play.
"We had our looks," said Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper. "Could you ask for anything more in the first five minutes than to have Kucherov and Johnson by themselves in front of the net?"
The Rangers grabbed a 1-0 lead with 2:42 remaining in the first period. Nash charged down the left wing, cut to the middle and put a backhander in off the right post and the back of Bishop's left skate.
He tried the same move on a short-handed opportunity early in the second period, but he fired the puck wide of the net.
Lundqvist made a big save later in the power play, stopping Alex Killorn on a breakaway.
Tampa Bay tied the game when Steven Stamkos beat Lundqvist on a one-timer from the right circle at 11:30 of the second.
New York, however, took a 3-1 lead late in the period on goals separated by 1:48.
A turnover by veteran forward Brenden Morrow behind the Tampa Bay net resulted in Chris Kreider slipping a rebound through Bishop's pads with 4:44 left. Yandle then had his errant shot from the right point go off the right leg of Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman and bounce past Bishop with 2:56 remaining.
"I felt like the entire team stepped up tonight," Lundqvist said. "There were times, especially in the second, where they came really hard. But we weathered the storm, and we answered back with some huge goals."
The Rangers extended their lead with a pair of power-play goals in the third period.
Martin St. Louis was on one knee as he hammered Derick Brassard's cross-ice pass in at 5:08. It was the first goal of the playoffs for the former Lightning captain.
Nash got his second with 8:27 remaining.
Stamkos has scored in three straight games and five of his last six ... New York's Kevin Klein and Kevin Hayes each had two assists ... Lightning defenseman Matt Carle missed Game 4 with an undisclosed injury. He left Game 3 in the first period after a collision with Rangers center Derek Stepan ... Mark Barberio replaced Carle in the lineup and played in his first game since the regular-season finale against Boston on April 11.