Monday, May 28, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning beats Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in overtime

TAMPA — Can Steven Stamkos score 60 goals?

That was the question Saturday night after the Lightning center scored his league-best 56th in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Jets at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"He's got a good chance now," general manager Steve Yzerman said.

Stamkos' goal 45 seconds into the extra period was his fifth overtime winner this season, an NHL record.

But with the league without a 60-goal scorer since Alex Ovechkin got 65 in 2007-08 — and likely only two players this season, Stamkos and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, going to hit 50 — Stamkos' pursuit demands the spotlight.

Especially now that the Lightning (36-35-7) officially is out of the playoff race thanks to the Capitals' win.

(The Capitals also put the Jets out of the playoffs.)

"It's tough not to (think about 60)," said Stamkos, who has four games to get four goals. "I get asked about it every day."

That said, "I'm not going to be pushing for it. I don't want guys to be passing up opportunities to try to get me that. If it's the right play, it's the right play."

The game was a treasure chest of highlights.

Ryan Malone had two goals — including one where he flipped the puck over defenseman Grant Clitsome to create a breakaway — to reach 20. He also fought Ron Hainsey, who cross-checked Marty St. Louis into the boards.

Goaltender Sebastien Caron, signed out of Germany after an injury to Mathieu Garon, made 26 saves in his first NHL start since November 2006 with the Blackhawks.

And right wing J.T. Brown, newly signed out of college, made his NHL debut and fit right in with two shots in 13:33 of ice time.

It also was the Lightning's league-best ninth win when trailing after two periods.

"There was everything," coach Guy Boucher said.

But it was Stamkos' night, all the more sweeter for him because he was robbed by goalie Ondrej Pavelec on a breakaway with 4:34 left in the third period and the score 2-2.

He did not miss from his favorite spot in the left faceoff circle off a perfect set-up pass from defenseman Brian Lee.

And though Stamkos said, "I'd like to be doing this in a season where we were competing for the Stanley Cup," he added about the record for overtime goals, "That's pretty special. As long as the NHL has been around, to have something to call my own, at least for now, it's amazing."

Really amazing would be getting 60 goals.

"He has a chance," captain Vinny Lecavalier said.

"I'm not going to talk about it," Malone said, trying to avoid a jinx. "I'll let you know when the season is over."

Lightning10113
Jets02002
Lightning10113
Jets02002

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Malone 19, 15:37. PenaltiesClitsome, Wpg (hooking), 6:35; Wyman, TB (holding), 12:22; Wallace, TB (roughing), 16:35; Enstrom, Wpg (hooking), 16:50.

Second Period2, Winnipeg, Miettinen 5 (Kane, Stuart), 6:20. 3, Winnipeg, Wellwood 18 (Byfuglien, Stapleton), 9:28. PenaltiesKane, Wpg (elbowing), 2:07; Hainsey, Wpg (cross-checking), 12:21.

Third Period4, Tampa Bay, Malone 20 (Purcell, Hedman), 7:25 (pp). PenaltiesHainsey, Wpg, major (fighting), :44; Malone, TB, major (fighting), :44; Byfuglien, Wpg (hooking), 2:47; Slater, Wpg (high-sticking), 4:36; Little, Wpg (hooking), 6:19; Wyman, TB (high-sticking), 8:05; Ladd, Wpg, served by Stapleton, minor-major-misconduct (roughing, fighting), 8:29; Wheeler, Wpg (slashing), 8:29; Brewer, TB (slashing), 8:29; Hedman, TB, major-misconduct (fighting), 8:29.

Overtime5, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 56 (Lee), :45. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalWinnipeg 12-9-7-0—28. Tampa Bay 7-10-21-1—39. Power-play opportunitiesWinnipeg 0 of 3; Tampa Bay 1 of 7. GoaliesWinnipeg, Pavelec 28-28-8 (39 shots-36 saves). Tampa Bay, Caron 1-0-0 (28-26). A19,204 (19,204). T2:39. Referees—Chris Rooney, Ian Walsh. LinesmenJonny Murray, Derek Amell.

Comments
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Published: 05/26/18
Updated: 05/27/18
Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Published: 05/25/18
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Published: 05/24/18
Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

TAMPA — Don't change a thing.Don't blow it up. Don't fire anyone. Don't overreact.Thursday was not an easy day in Lightning Land. It was the day after the end of a season that ended much too soon. It was a day when bags were packed, questions w...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

TAMPA — Not surprisingly, several Lightning players went through the playoffs with what general manager Steve Yzerman called "significant injuries."He would not elaborate Thursday on who they were, though he said that information will be made p...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

TAMPA — Lightning fans were heading for the exits with three minutes remaining in Tampa Bay's 4-0 loss to Washington Wednesday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Understandable given the disappointment of not reaching the Stanley C...
Published: 05/24/18
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít 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...
Published: 05/24/18
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...
Published: 05/24/18
Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightningís 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...
Published: 05/24/18
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