NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Tampa Bay
(Thursday, November 12th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Minnesota 3 (SO)
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Ryan Malone scored the equalizer with 14.7 seconds left in regulation, while Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos had goals in the shootout to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
Malone and Stamkos each finished with a goal and assist for the Lightning, who have won two in a row. Steve Downie also tallied, while Antero Niittymaki stopped 31 shots in the victory.
Owen Nolan, Kim Johnsson and Benoit Pouliot had the goals for the Wild, who had won two in a row. Niklas Backstrom made 19 saves in the loss.
"They're all disappointed in there," Wild head coach Todd Richards said. "That's the emotion you want from them. You want them to be disappointed we didn't get the win...They played extremely hard, did a lot of really good things. But we're still finding ways to give teams goals and opportunities."
The Lightning trailed by two heading into the third period, but Downie got them back in the game when he stuffed in a rebound at 9:17. Tampa Bay still trailed down the stretch, but drew even in the final minute.
Stamkos gained control of a bouncing puck behind the net and fired a pass out front for Malone, who shifted the disc backhand-to-forehand before lifting it over Backstrom with just 14.7 on the clock.
After a scoreless overtime in which Niittymaki made four stops, Mikko Koivu started the shootout for Minnesota. But Niittymaki made a glove save on the wrister, and Lecavalier then snapped a shot between Backstrom's pads.
Niittymaki was able to get the end of his pad on Martin Havlat's shot, sending it wide. Stamkos ended the contest by getting Backstrom to bite on a move in the crease before shifting to his right and putting the puck in an open net.
"It was kind of an up-and-down game, I think," Stamkos said. "The first half of the game I think we were a little sloppy. We were just throwing the puck around, not paying attention to where it was going. Chopping it in the zone, we were getting caught. But I think this team showed a lot of character, and we're showing confidence now."
The Wild got on the board with 3:07 left in the opening period, when Pouliot finished off a cross-ice pass from James Sheppard, who drew nearly every Lightning defender.
Minnesota went up by two with a power-play tally shortly into the second, as Johnsson lifted a shot over Niittymaki from the right side at 3:47.
Stamkos got the Lightning started at 8:44 with a shorthanded goal. With the puck behind the net, Wild defenseman Shane Hnidy fell down, allowing Malone to retrieve the disc and send it out front for Stamkos' one-timer.
Nolan made it a 3-1 game at 11:35 of the second, when he beat Niittymaki high to the stick side, sending the puck off the left post.
Minnesota had won the last three in the series between these clubs. The Lightning got their first win against the Wild since January 4, 2007...Stamkos' goal was his 13th of the season...The Lightning host Los Angeles on Saturday, while the Wild play Friday at Washington.
11/13 02:17:01 ET