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Gaborik steals point for Rangers in OT loss

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, right, of

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, right, of Sweden, poke-checks Tampa Bay Lightning's Ryan Malone during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Tampa, Fla. (Jan.1, 2011) Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mike Carlson

TAMPA, Fla. - Just as quickly as Marian Gaborik's goal had tied it in the last minute of regulation to steal a point here, the Rangers lost to the Lightning, 2-1, in overtime last night.

Nate Thompson scored 19 seconds into overtime in a game that featured outstanding goaltending by Henrik Lundqvist and rookie Cedrick Desjardins.

"When you tie a game that late, you have to be happy about the point," said Lundqvist, who made 31 saves for the Rangers.

On the winner, Dana Tyrell, who scored the other Lightning goal at 13:03 of the first period, passed to Thompson from behind the net under a sliding Matt Gilroy.

Gaborik's 11th - and first of the season away from the Garden (other than at Nassau Coliseum) - came with Lundqvist pulled for an extra skater. Gaborik was left alone in front and buried Dan Girardi's pass from the corner.

"It gives you a boost of confidence," said Gaborik, mostly a non-factor for much of the game. "Their goalie made some great saves. We know that this team is very talented and we did the job [3-for-3] on our penalty-killing."

In 15 games in which the Rangers were trailing at the start of the third period, they've managed at least a point in seven.

Before Gaborik's goal, rookie goaltender Desjardins and a defensive blanket by the Lightning had been too much for the Blueshirts.

The Lightning's big guns, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, who had 12 of the team's 14 goals in the previous five games, were kept off the board, but the Rangers couldn't solve the rookie in net.

The undrafted Desjardins, acquired from Montreal for Karri Ramo in August, made 34 saves to win his second NHL game. He also beat Montreal in his debut Thursday, but he might not be around for long. The Lightning acquired Dwayne Roloson from the Islanders late last night.

Mats Zuccarello, replacing Ryan Callahan, who has been out for seven games with a broken hand, had the best opportunity in the second period, firing a rebound of Artem Anisimov's shot from the right side, but he was stopped by the pad of a diving Desjardins.

It was another slow start by the Rangers. On Wednesday, the Devils outshot them 16-5 in the first period. "If we start the way we did in New Jersey, we're done," Rangers coach John Tortorella warned before the game.

But that's what happened. The quicker Lightning pressured the Rangers in all zones and prevented them from mustering any forechecking or scoring chances.

New York Sports