Lightning battle back but lose fight with Ranger

NEW YORK — That the Lightning went into the final 10 minutes Wednesday night against the Rangers within a goal of tying the game after trailing by three early and starting the third period down two forwards could have been viewed as a victory in itself.

But after a 6-3 loss at Madison Square Garden, Tampa Bay

After falling behind 3-0 just 10:21 into the game, the Lightning fought back — and not just in the figurative sense

Tampa Bay already was without Anthony Cirelli, who exited the game with an undisclosed injury late in the second and did not return.

“We battled,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “You’re down 3-0 (11) minutes into the game, and by the time we get in here after the second (period), it’s 4-3 and we easily could have been up.

So I liked that. It’s kind of tough in the end, because Cirelli left the game in the second, Colton was pretty much done for the game because of the penalty. Penalties got us in trouble, and we ran out of gas.”

The Lightning turned the tables on the Rangers in the second period, outshooting them 17-9.

Tampa Bay continued to pressure in the third but failed to score the equalizer.