Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning defeats Jets in overtime (w/ video)

WINNIPEG — When Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers cruised in for a breakaway in the final seconds of regulation with the score tied Friday, it appeared the Lightning was headed for heartbreak.

"The game actually turned into slow motion, at least for me," coach Jon Cooper said.

"Oh my God," defenseman Victor Hedman said.

But Ehler's shot clanked off the right post, sending the game to overtime and giving the Lightning life. And it took advantage.

Moments after goalie Ben Bishop thwarted a Bryan Little breakaway, Ondrej Palat finished off a 3-on-1 rush to lift the Lightning to a 4-3 victory at the MTS Center.

"The game actually turned out pretty much the way it should have," Cooper said. "It should have went to overtime and someone was going to get the other (point)."

The Lightning (5-2-1) has taken three of four possible points so far on this "measuring stick" road trip through the Central Division.

Though it hasn't been pretty — Tampa Bay blew three one-goal leads in each of the first two games — the Lightning has found a way to win, giving it a boost heading to Chicago for a Stanley Cup final rematch tonight.

"I think (tonight is) going to be a lot of fun," said Hedman, who had three assists against the Jets. "We're going to have a lot of energy for that one."

Tampa Bay will need a better start. It was fortunate to be tied 1-1 after Friday's first period, when the Jets took control.

"They were all over us," Palat said. "We were a little soft. That can't happen."

But the Lightning fourth line of Cedric Paquette, Vladislav Namestnikov and Erik Condra provided a spark, setting the tone in the second period.

"Unreal," Palat said. "They were our best line."

Said Cooper: "They were outstanding."

Paquette, who had a monster game, scored to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. But the Jets tied it midway through the period after defensemen Anton Stralman and Coburn both went for wing Adam Lowry on an odd-man rush, leaving wing Drew Stafford open to score.

But before Stafford's goal could be announced, Vladislav Namestnikov scored for a 3-2 lead, pouncing on a rebound in front, Paquette having set a great screen. It was Namestnikov's third goal in his past four games.

"The biggest goal of the game," Cooper said.

The Jets tied the score again early in the third on an uncharacteristic mistake by Bishop. With the Lightning on a power play, Bishop — typically a great puck-handler — coughed up the puck behind his net, and Blake Wheeler beat him with a wraparound.

The talk on the Lightning bench was to pick up Bishop, who was making his eighth straight start. And with Palat's overtime goal, the Lightning certainly did, also giving Bishop his 100th career NHL win.

"Bish has bailed us out so many times," Cooper said. "It was about time we bailed him out.

"And that's what we did."

Contact Joe Smith at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

 

Lightning 1 2 0 1 4
Jets 1 1 1 0 3

 

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Coburn 1 (Johnson), 12:17. 2, Winnipeg, Ehlers 2 (Scheifele, Perreault), 16:28. PenaltiesStafford, Wpg (high-sticking), :44; Paquette, TB (roughing), 20:00; Little, Wpg (roughing), 20:00.

Second Period3, Tampa Bay, Paquette 1 (Condra, Hedman), 7:22. 4, Winnipeg, Stafford 3 (Lowry, Burmistrov), 10:58. 5, Tampa Bay, Namestnikov 3 (Paquette, Hedman), 11:19. PenaltiesCoburn, TB (tripping), 3:12.

Third Period6, Winnipeg, Wheeler 4, 1:17 (sh). PenaltiesEnstrom, Wpg (holding stick), :40; Hedman, TB (slashing), 12:31; Perreault, Wpg (slashing), 12:31.

Overtime7, Tampa Bay, Palat 2 (Stamkos, Hedman), :36. PenaltiesNone.

Shots on GoalTampa Bay 6-16-7-2—31. Winnipeg 11-8-16-1—36. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 2; Winnipeg 0 of 1. GoaliesTampa Bay, Bishop 5-2-1 (36 shots-33 saves). Winnipeg, Pavelec 2-2-1 (31-27). A15,294 (15,016). T2:31. Referees—Brad Meier, Ian Walsh. LinesmenScott Cherrey, Mike Cvik.

. tonight

Lightning at Blackhawks

When/where: 8:30; United Center, Chicago

TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 970-AM

Key stats: The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks (4-3) are off to a slow start but are 3-1 at home. … They are without top defenseman Duncan Keith, sidelined 4-6 weeks after knee surgery. … The Lightning went 1-0-1 against the Blackhawks during the regular season last year and lost to them in six games in the Stanley Cup final, giving it motivation in the rematch. "You definitely want to prove something," C Tyler Johnson said. "But at the same time, it's a completely new season, different standings. It's regular season compared to playoffs. You definitely want to have your 'A' game … also because they're one of the top teams in the league."

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

 
Comments
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn’t headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn’t headed to the Stanley Cup final

TAMPA — Washington is on to Vegas. The Lightning is not. So we asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for the single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn't headed to the Stanley Cup final. Here's their answers:Roger Mooney, staff writer: Th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

The Lightning will miss out on the Stanley Cup final after being shut out by the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. The Bolts were the highest-scoring team during the regular season but failed to score in almost all of the final eigh...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

TAMPA — Yanni Gourde said he will have to see a replay to know just how it got away, but even in a lopsided 4-0 loss like Wednesday night, he'll remember the puck in front of an empty net, and the missed opportunity that encapsulated a frustrat...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

TAMPA — This one stings. And it will ache for a long time. Maybe forever in these parts.Another chance for a Stanley Cup. Another disappointment. As the Lightning skated off the ice after losing Wednesday night's Game 7 of the Eastern Conferenc...
Published: 05/23/18
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

TAMPA — Forget Vegas.The Lightning have left the building.No more season. No more watch parties. No more anything.There is no way around it. Jon Cooper's team couldn't finish, not in Game 7 at home, not in the Eastern Conference final...
Published: 05/23/18
Live blog: Lightning's season ends with 4-0 loss in Game 7

Live blog: Lightning's season ends with 4-0 loss in Game 7

  Follow our live coverage of the Eastern Conference final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals. We'll have updates, analysis, photos, video and more on and off the ice from Times reporters, editors, sports columnists and photo j...
Published: 05/23/18
Lightning-Capitals: Roger Mooney’s takeaways from the Lightning’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Roger Mooney’s takeaways from the Lightning’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

* The Lightning picked the worst time to stop scoring goals. It's tough to win when you go more than six periods without getting at least one past the goalie, but that is what happened to the NHL's top-scoring team during the regular season.* Certain...
Published: 05/23/18