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Tampa Bay Lightning beats San Jose Sharks 6-5 in overtime

TAMPA — The Lightning made two moves Thursday it hopes will address its future.

But Marty St. Louis said it is still not time to put the season in the past.

"At the end of the day we're still going to fight regardless of what's going on around us. We have to," he said. "There's 26 games left. That's like a third of the season. There's a lot of time. You start winning games, you never know."

St. Louis did his part with two goals, the second with 32.8 seconds left in overtime to give Tampa Bay a 6-5 victory over the Sharks at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Coach Guy Boucher called it a "character, character, character" win after center Dominic Moore was traded to San Jose shortly before the game and defenseman Pavel Kubina sat as he waits to be dealt.

Steven Stamkos had two goals and four points in his 300th game. Victor Hedman had three assists. Teddy Purcell and Steve Downie also scored, and Brendan Mikkelson had his first two Lightning points, both on assists.

It all would have been for naught without Dwayne Roloson, who made 45 saves on 50 shots, the most ever against the Lightning at home and tying the most against it overall.

The victory moves Tampa Bay (25-26-6) to eight points of the final playoff spot in the East.

"You don't want to be in June, 40 rounds of golf deep at that time, and you wish you did this and did that," St. Louis said. "Just leave it out there. You never know."

The Sharks had a slight edge in play in the first period and outshot the Lightning 17-13, but the Lightning had a 2-1 lead.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead on Logan Couture's power-play goal 1:16 in on a rebound. That came shortly after Roloson stopped Joe Pavelski, who was alone in front of the net.

Stamkos made it 1-1 at 9:30, when he backhanded in a rebound of Mikkelson's shot that was stopped by Antti Niemi.

It was 2-1 with 24.4 seconds left when Purcell, on the power play, wristed a shot from the left wing boards between Niemi's legs.

The second period was wild as the Sharks had a 20-4 shot advantage and took a 4-3 lead.

Michal Handzus made the score 2-2 1:44 in. And it stayed that way until the team's combined for three goals in 96 seconds.

Downie scored with 5:52 left when his shot hit a post then ricocheted in off Niemi's back. Marc-Edouard Vlasic answered 31 seconds later from the slot, and Sharks defenseman Colin White scored his first goal in 149 games with 4:16 left to make it 4-3 after Roloson allowed a juicy rebound.

Notes: With defenseman Matt Gilroy in the lineup after missing three games with a left hand injury, general manager Steve Yzerman said he has no immediate plans to call up a blue-liner from AHL Norfolk. That could change if defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron, who has missed 14 of 15 games with a back injury, does not heal quickly. "Potentially for Saturday, we'll have another defenseman here," Yzerman said. … The Maple Leafs had the most impressive presence at the Times Forum with director of player personnel Rick Dudley and a scout in attendance.

Lightning 2 1 2 1 6
Sharks 1 3 1 0 5

First Period1, San Jose, Couture 24 (Thornton, Marleau), 1:16 (pp). 2, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 38 (Mikkelson, Downie), 9:30. 3, Tampa Bay, Purcell 14 (Mikkelson, Stamkos), 19:35 (pp). PenaltiesHedman, TB (delay of game), :26; Hedman, TB (hooking), 11:20; Clowe, SJ (goaltender interference), 19:26.

Second Period4, San Jose, Handzus 7 (McGinn, Mitchell), 1:44. 5, Tampa Bay, Downie 12 (Brewer, Hedman), 14:08. 6, San Jose, Vlasic 4 (Wingels, Boyle), 14:37. 7, San Jose, White 1 (McGinn, Mitchell), 15:44. PenaltiesPyatt, TB (hooking), 6:34.

Third Period8, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 39 (Hedman, Malone), 2:44. 9, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 17 (Lecavalier, Purcell), 8:01. 10, San Jose, Wingels 2 (Couture, Boyle), 14:50. PenaltiesNone.

Overtime11, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 18 (Hedman, Stamkos), 4:27. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalSan Jose 17-20-8-5—50. Tampa Bay 13-4-7-1—25. Power-play opportunitiesSan Jose 1 of 3; Tampa Bay 1 of 1. GoaliesSan Jose, Niemi 23-13-6 (25 shots-19 saves). Tampa Bay, Roloson 8-11-2 (50-45). A16,819 (19,204).

Lightning 6

Sharks 5

OVERTIME

Tampa Bay Lightning beats San Jose Sharks 6-5 in overtime 02/16/12 [Last modified: Friday, February 17, 2012 8:20am]
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