Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning beats Minnesota Wild 4-3 in shootout

TAMPA — The celebration after the Lightning's 4-3 victory over the Wild on Thursday night almost was playoff-caliber.

Players poured over the boards, and the mob scene of hugs and gloved hands pounding heads slowly slid to the St. Pete Times Forums' side boards, where it remained for almost a minute.

Tampa Bay had won a shootout, of all things, its first in five tries this season. But that was just the end point after it had overcome a two-goal, third-period deficit with Ryan Malone's power-play goal with 14.7 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

"That was probably the most hard-fought win of the season," center Steven Stamkos said, "the one that felt the best, for sure."

And given the rest of the game, totally unexpected.

The Lightning, 7-4-5 overall and 5-0-3 at home, was outplayed and mostly outhustled. It was outshot 34-22 and held without a shot for 8:59 of the first period. It lost puck battles and the territory battle, and the forecheck and physical game were just theories.

Maybe it was the four days off between games. Maybe, coach Rick Tocchet said, he has to rethink how he budgets practice time.

Whatever it was, "we just didn't have it," Malone said.

But a turnover by Minnesota's Kyle Brodziak on a three-on-one led to Steve Downie's goal 9:17 into the third period. And Malone tied it on a six-on-four power play with goaltender Antero Niitty­maki pulled for an extra skater.

"It shows you you're never out of it if guys keep grinding," Tocchet said. "I know some guys were having tough nights, and some guys really weren't into the game."

Totally into the game: Stamkos, whose team-best 13th goal was the first short-handed of his career and the team's first short-handed of the season. He also assisted on Malone's goal, and Malone returned the favor.

Niittymaki moved to 3-0-2 in his past six games with 31 saves.

As for the shootout, Tampa Bay won 2-0, with Vinny Lecavalier and Stamkos breaking a 0-for-14 drought for shooters. Tocchet switched things up, too, electing to shoot second.

"I think the percentages of teams that go first are, don't quote me, like 75 percent," Tocchet said. "So, whatever that was, I was going the opposite. It was bucking any trend that was possible."

Both players went at the net with speed. Lecavalier scored five-hole on goalie Niklas Backstrom, and Stamkos, who has 10 goals in his past 10 games, on a deke to his forehand.

"Good teams win games they shouldn't, but good teams learn lessons from this," Tocchet said. "That's the key, learning from your mistakes."

Celebrations notwithstanding.

Lightning 0 1 2 0 4
Wild 1 2 0 0 3
Lightning wins shootout 2-0
Lightning 0 1 2 0 4
Wild 1 2 0 0 3
Lightning wins shootout 2-0

First Period1, Minnesota, Pouliot 2 (Sheppard, Schultz), 16:53. PenaltiesHnidy, Min (holding), 19:34.

Second Period2, Minnesota, Johnsson 2 (Brunette, Koivu), 3:47 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 13 (Malone), 8:44 (sh). 4, Minnesota, Nolan 4, 11:35. PenaltiesKonopka, TB (cross-checking), 3:16; Burns, Min (tripping), 4:45; Tanguay, TB (high-sticking), 6:59; Veilleux, TB (hooking), 15:00.

Third Period5, Tampa Bay, Downie 2 (Halpern, Ohlund), 9:17. 6, Tampa Bay, Malone 11 (Stamkos, St. Louis), 19:45 (pp). PenaltiesSt. Louis, TB (hooking), 3:20; Zidlicky, Min (tripping), 9:59; Nolan, Min (roughing), 12:26; Downie, TB (roughing), 12:26; Zidlicky, Min (hooking), 18:42.

OvertimeNone. PenaltiesNone.

ShootoutMinnesota 0 (Koivu NG, Havlat NG), Tampa Bay 2 (Lecavalier G, Stamkos G). Shots on GoalMinnesota 12-11-7-4—34. Tampa Bay 9-4-9-0—22. Power-play opportunitiesMinnesota 1 of 4; Tampa Bay 1 of 4. GoaliesMinnesota, Backstrom 7-8-1 (22 shots-19 saves). Tampa Bay, Niittymaki 5-1-2 (34-31). A14,530 (19,758).

Tampa Bay Lightning beats Minnesota Wild 4-3 in shootout 11/12/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 13, 2009 8:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Officially official: Malik Zaire, Jake Fruhmorgen join Florida Gators


    It's finally, officially official: Malik Zaire has joined the Florida Gators.

  2. Is this Dave Andreychuk's Hall of Fame year? Doubtful


    The Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2017 will be announced at 3 p.m. today. It's a downright crime that former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk still isn't in, and his chances today are iffy with those in the first year of eligibility, including Daniel Alfredsson and Teemu Selanne. Others …

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk is 14th on the all-time goals list with 614.
  3. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  4. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  5. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.