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 defeats Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 in overtime

Steven Stamkos hits the Philips Arena glass to celebrate his winning goal in overtime against the Thrashers as Atlanta center Todd White skates away.

Associated Press

Steven Stamkos hits the Philips Arena glass to celebrate his winning goal in overtime against the Thrashers as Atlanta center Todd White skates away.

ATLANTA — Steven Stamkos told himself before Sunday's game with the Thrashers he was going to be involved from the first shift.

The Lightning center knew his performance had dipped the last little while, and it bothered him.

"Get right in there," he said. "Get a hit. Get into the game." Getting a big goal was the by-product. Stamkos' team-high 15th goal 2:56 into overtime gave Tampa Bay a 4-3 win at Philips Arena.

"He was working hard," coach Rick Tocchet said. "He was up and down and getting hit, and he got up. He played a solid game for us."

It punctuated a solid road trip for the Lightning (9-5-7), which finished the cross-country excursion 2-1-1 and with five of a possible eight points.

Marty St. Louis had three assists. Goaltender Antero Niittymaki made 28 saves to continue an improbable stretch in which he is 14-0 against Atlanta and has a 15-game winning streak against the Southeast Division.

An added bonus: Tampa Bay outshot an opponent for the first time in 11 games, 40-31.

That said, a 3-1 third-period lead, built on Ryan Malone's 14th goal and the firsts for Stephane Veilleux and Kurtis Foster, disintegrated in 1:52 on goals by Slava Kozlov and Evander Kane, who tied the score with 2:31 left.

Kozlov's goal was most disturbing. It came off a faceoff in which the puck got loose in the Tampa Bay zone and got past St. Louis. "It went right through me," he said. "Right off the draw; it was a killer."

But as Tocchet said, "A couple of blown assignments doesn't bring the whole group down. I thought we played well." Especially after Saturday's loss to the Hurricanes in which Tocchet said his best players played their worst. "The resilience of the team was nice to see," he said. "You're looking for certain guys to lead the charge."

Such as Malone, who had six shots and a team-best four hits; St. Louis, who played a team-high 26:50, and rookie James Wright, who had three shots in 13:50 and was solid all around.

But Stamkos' game was the most dynamic. His seven shots equaled his total from him previous five games. He had two hits and two takeaways, and played 23:42. "(Sunday) was the first time in a while I felt really good," he said. "I skated well and got into the forecheck."

Stamkos said players knew of Tocchet's criticism after the Carolina game, but it wasn't discussed.

"Everyone knows when they don't play a good game," he said. "Nothing needed to be said."

Except what he told himself.

Lightning 0 2 1 1 4
Thrashers 0 0 3 0 3
Lightning 0 2 1 1 4
Thrashers 0 0 3 0 3

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesBoulton, Atl (delay of game), 2:57; Kubina, Atl (hooking), 6:50; Tampa Bay bench, served by Downie (too many men), 10:57; Lecavalier, TB (hooking), 19:15.

Second Period1, Tampa Bay, Veilleux 1 (Konopka, Foster), 5:45. 2, Tampa Bay, Malone 14 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 19:36. PenaltiesSchubert, Atl (boarding), 2:46; Afinogenov, Atl (interference), 11:06.

Third Period3, Atlanta, Enstrom 3 (Kozlov, Antropov), 5:29. 4, Tampa Bay, Foster 1 (Tanguay, St. Louis), 9:20 (pp). 5, Atlanta, Kozlov 2 (Antropov), 15:37. 6, Atlanta, Kane 7 (White, Enstrom), 17:29. PenaltiesWhite, Atl (interference), 7:29; Tanguay, TB (cross-checking), 12:18; Downie, TB, double minor (roughing), 19:07; Afinogenov, Atl, double minor (roughing), 19:07.

Overtime7, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 15 (St. Louis), 2:56. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 15-9-14-2—40. Atlanta 8-8-15-0—31. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 5; Atlanta 0 of 3. GoaliesTampa Bay, Niittymaki 6-1-3 (31 shots-28 saves). Atlanta, Pavelec 6-5-3 (40-36). A13,342

Lightning 4

Thrashers 3


Tampa Bay Lightning defeats Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 in overtime 11/22/09 [Last modified: Sunday, November 22, 2009 11:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.