September 26, 2020 | 10:29am
One year after getting bought out by the Rangers, Kevin Shattenkirk has helped put the Tampa Bay Lightning on the verge of winning the Stanley Cup.
The veteran defenseman’s goal 6:34 into overtime lifted the Lightning to a 5-4 win Friday night for a 3-1 series lead over the Dallas Stars and a chance to hoist the Cup in Game 5 Saturday night in Edmonton.
Afterward, Shattenkirk – a childhood Rangers fan from New Rochelle — said the Blueshirts buying out the final two years of his contract at $6.65 million per season last August has motivated him all season after signing a one-year deal worth $1.75 million with Tampa Bay.
“I never kind of forget what happened last summer and I’ve used that to fuel me and just not get comfortable,” the 31-year-old Shattenkirk said following Friday’s Game 4. “I’m looking forward to (Saturday) night, because then it could all come really full circle.”
Playing on a blueline unit that also features All-Star defenseman Victor Hedman and former Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh, Shattenkirk registered eight goals and 26 assists with a plus-22 rating in 70 games this season for the Lightning. He’s added 13 points (3-10) in 23 postseason appearances.
The Rangers carried a salary cap hit of $1.483 million for Shattenkirk this season, but that number will balloon to $6.083 million in 2020-21. They also will be charged $1.433 million on the cap in each of the following two years, according to CapFriendly.com.