Richards scores in OT, Rangers beat Lightning 4-3

Brad Richards scored 2:37 into overtime to give the New York Rangers a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

New York's Brian Boyle tied it at 10:13 of the third period, pouncing on a loose puck and driving it past Mathieu Garon. The last half of the third period was a fast-paced flurry of hits, scoring opportunities and saves before overtime.

Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-best 36th goal of the season in the first period and added an assist for Tampa Bay, which has lost three of four.

Derek Stepan scored and had an assist for the Rangers, who lead the Eastern Conference and have taken points in six of their last seven games.

On the game-winning goal, Richards rushed in to the left of Garon as Artem Anisimov carried the puck up the middle. He passed off, and Richards had to lunge forward to score, winding up on his knees as the puck went in, giving the Rangers a win in a game they led for less than a minute, though they outshot Tampa Bay 31-17.

The Rangers lost Ruslan Fedotenko after he took a shoulder from Dominic Moore on the chin. Fedotenko spent about a minute face down on the ice, then was helped off. Moore was given a 2-minute minor for roughing.

Bruno Gervais put the Lightning up on the power play at 12:26 of the second after the teams scored three goals in 75 seconds early in the period.

New York tied it when Ryan Callahan converted on the power play 4:33 into the period, and Stepan gave the Rangers the lead at 5:27. It lasted all of 21 seconds.

Vincent Lecavalier was stopped on the doorstep by Martin Biron, but the goalie had to venture out past the left post and Callahan filled the net, making him a target for Lecavalier to bounce the puck off of and in to tie the game.

The Rangers had three good chances to tie it. There was a scrum in the crease in front of Garon that prompted a video review, but no goal was given. Later, with about 5 minutes left in the second, Marian Gaborik picked out Anisimov racing right at the net, but the shot went wide. About 2 minutes after that, Ryan McDonagh slapped a one-timer wide.

Stamkos put Tampa Bay up 1-0 on a diving, backhanded goal at 18:56 of the first. After a turnover, Stamkos sliced in on Biron at a steep angle, then tucked the puck between the goalie's legs while nearly horizontal. That gave the Lightning the lead after a period that had mostly gone New York's way.

Biron made 14 saves in place of Henrik Lundqvist, who had started every Rangers game against Tampa Bay since November 2005.

NOTES: ESPN's Erin Andrews was shown on the scoreboard during a stoppage in the second period. When she heard cheers, she looked up and gave a sheepish grin and wave. ... Rangers D Steve Eminger returned after a shoulder injury and started the game as part of the first pairing. ... Despite scoring the period's only goal, Tampa Bay was outshot 10-4 in the first. ... New York D Michael Del Zotto's assist in the second period gave him four points in the last six games.