Johnson sparks Lightning to series tying win
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tyler Johnson powered a determined Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-2 Game Two victory over the New York Rangers on Monday, the center's hat-trick inspiring the visitors to an Eastern Conference Final series-tying triumph.
Johnson, a 24-year-old NHL All-Star, scored twice in a penalty-filled first period and added another in the second, while towering netminder Ben Bishop stopped 34-of-36 shots to silence the Madison Square Garden crowd.
The young Tampa Bay center scored the first three goals for the Lightning, who carried a 3-2 lead into the third period.
Alex Killorn scored twice and Steven Stamkos added another to turn a tight game into a rout in the final period as Tampa Bay bounced back to level the best-of-seven series after a 2-1 loss in Game One.
It was Johnson's fourth multi-goal game of the playoffs and gave him 11 tallies this postseason.
"I'm just happy to be here. I'm living my dream," said the 5-foot-9-inch sparkplug Johnson.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper, critical of his team's effort in their opening loss, saw a big difference.
"I think in Game One we participated in a hockey game and in Game Two we came to win a hockey game," he said. Continued...