Jagr got another milestone out of the way early in the first period, and Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves to help the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 Sunday night. “It is probably going to hit me a little later,” said Jagr, the 16th player to reach 600. “I just hope I get a lot more before I retire.”
Jagr, Martin Straka and Michael Nylander each had a goal and two assists for New York, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Brendan Shanahan added a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to seven games.
A night after a lackluster performance in a 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh, the Rangers applied constant pressure on Tampa Bay goalie Johan Holmqvist, who had won five straight starts.
“We weren’t happy with our start (Saturday) and we wanted to get off to a better start,” Shanahan said. “It was great Jags got his 600th right off the bat. It was a good way to start our night.”
The Lightning had won four of five but fell behind 2-0 after two periods. In the third, they allowed a power-play goal to Shanahan and an even-strength tally by Straka.
Lundqvist carried a shutout into the final minutes but Eric Perrin scored with 2:40 left with Marek Malik in the penalty box for hooking.
“I think we’ve got to be mentally tough and just forget about this, keep plugging away,” Perrin said.
Jagr beat Holmqvist with a wrist shot just 1:43 in after Nylander redirected Karel Rachunek’s slap shot to him in front of the net. It was Jagr’s ninth goal of the season and fourth in four games.
Jagr is the second Rangers forward to reach 600 goals this season. Shanahan did it in his debut for New York on Oct. 5 against Washington.
The home crowd at Madison Square Garden cheered wildly when the scoreboard flashed the milestone, but Jagr didn’t appear to notice as he sat on the bench while waiting for his next shift.
Jagr, in his 16th NHL season and third with the Rangers, moved within one goal of tying Jari Kurri for 15th on the career list.
“When he’s got his feet under him and he’s going, you’re not stopping him” New York coach Tom Renney said of Jagr. “And if you stop him, it’s somebody serving a penalty the way I look at it.”
Lundqvist almost stole Jagr’s night, earning chants of “Hen-rik! Hen-rik!” after a couple of stops. He turned aside three Tampa Bay attempts in rapid succession with about 3 minutes left in the first and stopped Vincent Lecavalier’s slap shot in the second before getting in front of Brad Richards’ rush to the net.
The Rangers also killed off four of five Lightning power plays.
“We were aggressive at the right times and really put them under a lot of pressure,” Lundqvist said, “and made it hard for them to just set up their power play.”
Nylander scored a power-play goal 2:50 into the second to put New York up 2-0. Shanahan knocked down Straka’s high shot to Nylander, who tipped it in between Holmqvist’s legs for his eighth of the season.
Nylander’s goal stood up after a video review, but Perrin had a score waved off by replay in the second. Perrin appeared to kick the puck in but said he just put his skate out to try to handle it because a Rangers defenceman was holding his stick.
Lightning coach John Tortorella, already annoyed by the goal awarded to the Rangers on review, was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a game misconduct when he vociferously argued the disallowed goal.
Tortorella wasn’t available after the game.
“We were feeling pretty good about ourselves,” Lightning associate coach Craig Ramsay said. “We wanted to get in, but they pushed us at our own end way too much.”
Notes: Jagr’s 500th goal also came against Tampa Bay, in Washington’s 5-1 win on Feb. 4, 2003. … Rangers D Thomas Pock dressed in place of RW Colton Orr and was used as a forward by coach Tom Renney. Pock was a forward in his college days. … Tampa Bay dropped to 5-1 against the Atlantic Division. … Shanahan has four goals and five assists during in his streak. … Holmqvist finished with 30 saves.