Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Former Ranger Ryan Callahan had two goals and an assist against his ex-team to spoil Martin St. Louis' return to Tampa and help the Lightning to a 4-3 victory over New York.
The pregame buildup was solely centered on St. Louis' first game in Amalie Arena since the Lightning's all-time leading scorer requested and was granted a trade to the Rangers on March 5. However, it was Callahan -- the key player Tampa Bay received in the blockbuster swap -- who earned the night's First Star as St. Louis was held off the scoresheet.
Steven Stamkos made quite an impact as well, notching a goal and two assists in the Lightning's fourth win in their last six outings, including two in a row by one goal. Ben Bishop finished with 16 saves in the triumph.
"Another one-goal game," said Stamkos. "We hold on and find a way to win these games and that's a good trait to have."
New York entered the anticipated matchup off shutout wins over Philadelphia and Montreal, but Henrik Lundqvist stopped just 25-of-29 shots and St. Louis was mostly a non-factor.
Rick Nash did record a goal and an assist for the Rangers, with Mats Zuccarello and Dan Boyle also scoring in defeat.
Callahan accounted for the first two of three consecutive Tampa Bay goals that erased a 2-1 deficit late in the opening period, during which St. Louis received a generally positive ovation from the home crowd as a video saluting his 12 1/2-year tenure with the Lightning was shown on the scoreboard.
A double-minor penalty to Nash led to Callahan's initial tally of the night, with the former Rangers captain crashing the net to re-direct a long drive from Jason Garrison 2:26 prior to the first intermission.
Callahan's second came midway through the second period off a pinpoint pass from Stamkos, who wheeled around the New York net to set up his teammate for a successful wrister in close that put the Lightning up 3-2.
Boyle nearly tied it just seconds into the third with a blast that struck the post, but the Rangers later fell behind by two when Matt Carle's point shot deflected off Kucherov's skate and trickled by Lundqvist with 10:22 to go.
Nash got New York back within one when he turned a giveaway from Tampa's Andrej Sustr into his 15th goal of the season with 7:11 left to play.
"Down two goals obviously we're going to take some chances," said Boyle. "You can take some risks."
But the Lightning held on for the two points.
Stamkos quickly put to rest any hopes of a third straight Rangers' shutout, with the star center setting off a flurry of first-period goals by rifling a shot over Lundqvist's left shoulder on a Tampa power play just 5:25 into the contest.
New York answered just over 3 1/2 minutes later when Sustr fanned on a clearing attempt, creating a 2-on-1 between Nash and Zuccarello in which Bishop had no chance to turn away the latter's attempt.
The Lightning took a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty less than two minutes after Zuccarello's score, with the Rangers converting the chance on Boyle's one-timer off a Derek Stepan feed.
Callahan also had two goals in the first meeting between the clubs since the trade, a 5-1 Lightning win at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 17 ... The Lightning are now 13-0-0 following the trade when Callahan scores at least one goal ... Nash's assist on Zuccarello's marker was the 300th of his career ... Lightning forward Alex Killorn extended his career-best point streak to six games with an assist on Callahan's second goal ... Boyle's goal was the free- agent pickup's first point as a Ranger ... Bishop improved to 7-0-0 all-time against New York.