Series (Game 1 of 4)

Tampa Bay leads 3-1

Game 1: Tuesday, November 25th
Game 2: Sunday, December 7th
Game 3: Sunday, January 11th
Game 4: Friday, March 12th

Rangers 2

(8-7-2, 22 pts)

Lightning 0

(11-3-1, 26 pts)

7:00 PM ET, November 25, 2003

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

1 2 3 T
NYR 2 0 02
TB 0 0 00

J. Markkanen (Rangers - G): Saves: 36, Save Pct.: 1.000

M. Messier (Rangers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. Ortmeyer (Rangers - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Messier, Ortmyer provide scoring punch

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Jussi Markkanen didn't face many tough chances, but stopped the ones he did.

Markkanen made 36 saves for his second shutout of the season to help the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Mark Messier and Jed Ortmeyer scored for the Rangers, who won for the second time in nine road games this season.

"I'm happy with any win," Rangers coach Glen Sather said. "They had a lot of shots from a long way out and there were no rebounds. Jussi played well."

Tampa Bay was shut out for the second straight game and has gone 148 minutes, 32 seconds without a goal. The Lightning played to a scoreless tie in their previous game Sunday at Carolina.

They are one of the best teams at home (8-2-1-1).

"This is our first bump," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "We need to battle through it. We didn't generate much offense. It was all from the outside."

Markkanen made a strong save on Martin St. Louis during a breakaway with nine minutes left in the second. The Lightning right wing tried to shoot the puck between the goalie's pads.

"I just tried to wait and wait and see where the shot is going," Markkanen said. "I was pretty deep in the net already when he made that shot because I was concentrating."

Markkanen also had a kick save in the third on Vincent Lecavalier's shot.

Messier and Ortmeyer scored in the first period to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Messier scored his ninth goal of the season and 685th in his career when he redirected a pass from Alex Kovalev past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

Kovalev has five assists and six points during a four-game point streak.

New York took a two-goal advantage when Ortmeyer scored his first NHL goal just before the end of the period. The Rangers outshot the Lightning 20-8 in the first.

"We came out pretty hard," Rangers defenseman Tom Poti said. "We know they usually start quick in their building. We knew if we could withstand them for the first five or 10 minutes, we were going to be successful."

Tampa Bay held a 14-4 shot advantage in a scoreless second. Overall, New York was outshot 36-26.

"We responded after one of our worst periods ... the first period," Tampa Bay captain Dave Andreychuk said. "I thought we battled hard to come back. It just didn't happen."

Game notes

New York G Mike Dunham was the backup to Markkanen. He has not played the last four games because of a groin injury. ... Rangers LW Dan LaCouture is expected to miss about a week after separating his shoulder in Sunday's game against Ottawa. ... Andreychuk, who has 614 career goals, has gone 11 games without a goal. He has one goal in 18 games this season. ... New York LW Richard Scott, who was recalled from Hartford of the AHL on Monday, was in the lineup. G Phil Osaer was reassigned to Hartford.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press