TAMPA — The Lightning came so close to scoring so many times Thursday night without a payoff, you could imagine players shaking their heads in frustration.
Pucks bouncing the wrong way, open nets missed, pucks off the side of the net.
It all felt even worse when Kyle Wellwood scored with 1:46 left in overtime to give the Jets a 2-1 victory at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Lightning lost a five-game winning streak.
Wellwood scored off a pass from Blake Wheeler, who scored the Jets' other goal.
Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman sent the game into overtime with his wrist-shot goal with 9:26 left in the third period.
Tampa Bay (22-23-5) did get a point for the regulation tie. But for a team fighting for its playoff life — and considering it had a 31-24 shot advantage — it was a game the Lightning could not afford to lose, especially to a Southeast Division opponent.
The first period was generally uneventful and ended in a 0-0 tie, with the Jets up 7-6 in shots.
Both teams had a couple of good chances. Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon had to be sharp 4:37 into the period to make a quick right-leg save on Bryan Little's wrist shot from the slot off Andrew Ladd's nice pass from behind the goal line.
Garon also was on the spot at the buzzer as Wheeler swept to the top of the crease and tried a spin-o-rama backhand the goalie went to his knees to stop.
Tampa Bay's best chance came with 2:12 left, when Steven Stamkos slid a shot through the legs of goalie Ondrej Pavelec and retrieved the puck at the left side of the net. Though Pavelec was out of position, Stamkos sent the backhand wide.
The second period for the Lightning was as much of a downer as it could get. The team took nine of the final 11 shots, but Wheeler scored with 15.2 seconds left off a juicy rebound, and a miscommunication between Eric Brewer and Marty St. Louis, for a 1-0 lead.
The rebound of Ladd's shot was one thing; it appeared Garon did not kick the puck out far enough. But Wheeler, who blew by defenseman Brewer, was totally uncovered at the bottom of the right faceoff circle.
Worse for the Lightning, which ended the period with a 21-14 shot advantage, it came within a whisker of scoring with 40 seconds left as the rebound of Pavel Kubina's shot was stopped but popped up and over Pavelec. Jets center Jim Slater batted the puck out of the air and through the crease before Vinny Lecavalier could get to it.
First Period—None. Penalties—Tampa Bay bench, served by Downie (too many men), 6:13.
Second Period—1, Winnipeg, Wheeler 10 (Slater, Ladd), 19:44. Penalties—Winnipeg bench, served by Gagnon (too many men), 1:54; Enstrom, Wpg (diving), 4:09; Downie, TB (hooking), 4:09; Gilroy, TB (cross-checking), 6:52.
Third Period—2, Tampa Bay, Hedman 3 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 10:34. Penalties—Ladd, Wpg (slashing), 15:50.
Overtime—3, Winnipeg, Wellwood 10 (Wheeler, Byfuglien), 3:14. Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—Winnipeg 7-7-8-2—24. Tampa Bay 6-15-10-0—31. Power-play opportunities—Winnipeg 0 of 2; Tampa Bay 0 of 2. Goalies—Winnipeg, Pavelec 18-17-6 (31 shots-30 saves). Tampa Bay, Garon 15-13-3 (24-22). A—16,923 (19,204). T—2:23. Referees—Steve Kozari, Frederick L'Ecuyer. Linesmen—Derek Amell, Derek Nansen.