NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Colorado
(Friday, December 11th)
Final Score: Colorado 2, Tampa Bay 1 (SO)
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Wojtek Wolski tied the game in the third period on a fortuitous carom off his body and scored the lone goal in the shootout, as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1, at Pepsi Center.
Craig Anderson, making his first start since sustaining a neck injury in a collision with Florida defenseman Keith Ballard on December 2, stopped 21 shots to notch his 15th win of the season, tying his career-high set during the 2008-09 campaign.
Peter Budaj did an admirable job in the interim for Colorado, posting a 2-2-0 record with a 1.26 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage.
Steve Downie lit the lamp for Tampa Bay, which opened a six-game road trip by dropping their third straight contest. Antero Niittymaki made 33 saves for the Bolts, who have lost seven of eight overall.
Just past the midway point of the third, Paul Stastny pushed the puck along the left wall and threw it on goal. Niittymaki made the stop, and Wolski, driving hard to the net, had the rebound deflect off him and past the bewildered goaltender with 7:49 remaining. A video review upheld the ruling on the ice.
"Sometimes you just have to go to the net and get a lucky bounce," Wolski said. "I have had so many chances in the last little while and they are not going, sometimes you just have to get the ugly ones."
Following the overtime session, Wolski roofed a shot on the backhand to start the third round of the extra segment. Alex Tanguay's bid was off the mark, giving Colorado its third shootout win in eight tries this season.
"We just sat back in the third period and let them come in our zone a little too much," Tanguay said. "They got too many shots in the third period and carried the play and got the tying goal. When you have the lead in this league you have to make sure you protect it and tonight we didn't."
Downie stashed a rebound to put Tampa Bay on the board at the 12:12 mark of the first period.
The Avalanche have won six straight over Tampa Bay...Colorado outshot Tampa Bay, 18-4, in the third period...Lightning forward Ryan Malone skated in his 400th NHL game...Colorado improved to 7-1-1 against Eastern Conference clubs this season...Tampa Bay fell to 1-6 in shootouts...Colorado continues its five-game homestand Sunday against the Flames...Tampa Bay visits the Blackhawks on Sunday.
12/12 02:21:22 ET