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 win in OT as Mike McKenna stops Columbus Blue Jackets

TAMPA — Lightning goaltender Mike McKenna said all the right things Tuesday night.

Team victories are more important than personal agendas, and there was no extra satisfaction besting Steve Mason in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Blue Jackets at the St. Pete Times Forum.

The fact is, though, Tampa Bay's rookie outplayed the goalie many believe will be rookie of the year.

"Without Mac, I'm not sitting here talking to you," Lightning right wing Marty St. Louis said. "He's the reason we won the game."

McKenna made 33 saves while his teammates were outshot 34-17, including 9-2 in the first period and 16-7 in the third.

But Mason could not handle Ryan Malone's tip-in that tied the score with 9:05 left in the third period on Tampa Bay's only power play of the game. St. Louis' 28th goal with 1:56 left in the extra period was the winner, and gave him six goals and six assists in a nine-game points streak.

Steven Stamkos, with two assists, has eight goals and 15 points in 13 games. And the power play is 10-for 29 in seven.

Even so, the victory was Tampa Bay's first at home in seven games. And Montreal's win officially eliminated the Lightning (24-33-16) from playoff contention.

The Canadiens, with the East's final playoff spot, have 83 points. With nine games left, the best Tampa Bay can do is 82.

"I've moved on," St. Louis said. "I knew where we were three weeks ago. We're just trying to finish strong."

McKenna did not have to be spectacular. But he always was square to the puck, most notably when he stopped R.J. Umberger on a first-period two-on-one, and Columbus' only goal came 4:21 into the third when Jan Hejda's shot deflected off Lightning defenseman Matt Smaby.

On the other end, Mason, with a league-high nine shutouts, must have been dozing as the Blue Jackets' defense, which St. Louis said reminded him of the Devils', held Tampa Bay in check.

"They're tough," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "They're as good as anyone back-pressuring the puck. You think you have stuff, and guys are coming behind you. That's the way teams should play. They don't take anything for granted."

"He has a lot of support," McKenna said of Mason. "That's not to take anything away from him, but he lives in a pretty easy environment. For us to come in and beat a club that has played so well defensively is big for us."

And for McKenna?

"I wouldn't say it's a vengeful thing," he said. "But it's a lot more fun to do this than sulking in the locker room afterward."

Damian Cristodero can be reached at [email protected]

Lightning 0 0 1 1 2
Blue Jackets 0 0 1 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesPetiot, TB (slashing), 10:31.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesMelichar, TB (interference), 13:22; Koci, TB (roughing), 17:22.

Third Period1, Columbus, Hejda 3 (Williams), 4:21. 2, Tampa Bay, Malone 25 (Lashoff, Stamkos), 10:55 (pp). PenaltiesHejda, Clm (holding stick), 9:56.

Overtime3, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 28 (Stamkos, Petiot), 3:04. PenaltiesNone. ShotsColumbus 9-8-16-1—34. Tampa Bay 2-5-7-3—17. Power playsColumbus 0 of 3; Tampa Bay 1 of 1. GoaliesColumbus, Mason 30-17-4 (17 shots-15 saves). Tampa Bay, McKenna 4-4-1 (34-33). A14,454 (19,758). T2:20. RefereesBill McCreary, Ian Walsh. LinesmenMichel Cormier, Darren Gibbs.

Tampa Bay Lightning win in OT as Mike McKenna stops Columbus Blue Jackets 03/24/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 1:43am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  3. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start


    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  5. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'


    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.