Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Vinny Lecavalier sends Tampa Bay Lightning to overtime win against Atlanta Thrashers

Vinny Lecavalier, second from right, celebrates with teammates from left, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone and Marty St. Louis, after scoring the winning goal 1:13 into overtime.

Associated Press

Vinny Lecavalier, second from right, celebrates with teammates from left, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone and Marty St. Louis, after scoring the winning goal 1:13 into overtime.

ATLANTA — With both teams coming off a two-day holiday break, Lightning coach Guy Boucher said he wasn't "expecting something pretty" when it came to Sunday's showdown with the Thrashers.

Pretty it wasn't. But the game was certainly entertaining for the fans, and meaningful for Tampa Bay, which pulled out a 3-2 overtime victory over Atlanta at Philips Arena to remain in first place in the Southeast Division.

As veteran right wing Marty St. Louis said, "it's about finding a way." And partly thanks to two goals by captain Vinny Lecavalier, including the winner 1 minute, 13 seconds into overtime, the Lightning did just that. It was Tampa Bay's ninth straight win over Atlanta.

"It's huge for us," goalie Dan Ellis said. "We're a team that really wants to make a name for ourselves this year. I think the (team) has struggled for a couple years, and this year we really wanted to show that with our new ownership, new general manager, new coaches, everything — all the way down — that we're a real team. We want to be the best team in the league … so we have to play that way every night."

Though Lecavalier acknowledged it took a while for the Lightning to get up to its typical speed after the holiday layoff, the team fought through it and took a one-goal lead into the third period. Lecavalier, who Boucher said has been an "inspiration" for his play, made it 2-1 midway through the second by knocking in a rebound off a Simon Gagne shot.

"They weren't the prettiest goals," Lecavalier said, "but I'll definitely take them."

Tampa Bay (21-10-5) had a chance to take control of the game, putting together several great scoring opportunities, but it failed to cash in. That included two by Sean Bergenheim, who was robbed once by goalie Ondrej Pavelec on a backhand chance on a cross-crease pass from Lecavalier.

But Ellis also delivered another strong performance, making big saves in the third.

That was until Jim Slater got behind the Lightning defense with just under four minutes left in regulation, and former Lightning Freddie Modin pounced on his rebound to help send the game to overtime.

That's when Lecavalier scored on a four-on-three power play, with St. Louis picking up his second assist of the game.

"This team is resilient," St. Louis said. "We find ways sometimes. You can't overanalyze things. You've got to be proud."

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

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 28 (Malone, St. Louis), 8:14. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period2, Atlanta, Bogosian 3 (Stewart, Little), 6:03. 3, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 5 (Gagne, Bergenheim), 9:04. PenaltiesOduya, Atl (tripping), 12:24; Modin, Atl (holding), 14:16; Malone, TB (hooking), 19:34.

Third Period4, Atlanta, Modin 7 (Slater, Eager), 16:17. PenaltiesEnstrom, Atl (hooking), :23; Enstrom, Atl, double minor (high-sticking), 10:47; Bergenheim, TB (interference), 11:06; Hedman, TB (delay of game), 18:47; Byfuglien, Atl (boarding), 19:49.

Overtime5, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 6 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 1:13 (pp). PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 11-13-9-1—34. Atlanta 6-11-9-2—28. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 6; Atlanta 0 of 2. GoaliesTampa Bay, Ellis 11-5-5 (28 shots-26 saves). Atlanta, Pavelec 12-7-4 (34-31). A14,610 (18,545). T2:32.

Lightning 3

Thrashers 2

OVERTIME

Vinny Lecavalier sends Tampa Bay Lightning to overtime win against Atlanta Thrashers 12/26/10 [Last modified: Monday, December 27, 2010 8:42am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108