Wild blow two-goal lead in third period, fall in shootout
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet hopes his team learned an important lesson.
Ryan Malone tied it with 14.7 seconds left in regulation, and Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos scored in the shootout to give the Lightning a 4-3 comeback win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
"We were flat," Tocchet said. "You've got to keep grinding. Good teams win games that maybe they shouldn't. You go home and think about it, we got a little lucky here, but let's not have the same trend."
Malone tied it at 3 on a backhander during a power play with Lightning goalie Antero Niittymaki off the ice for an extra skater.
"They're all disappointed," Minnesota coach Todd Richards said. "That's an emotion you want from them, that we didn't get win. You just tell them that we deserved a better fate."
Stamkos scored his 13th goal of the season during regulation and added an assist. Steve Downie had the other Tampa Bay goal, coming at 9:17 of the third.
Benoit Pouliot, Kim Johnsson and Owen Nolan scored for Minnesota. Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom fell to 11-1-2, including 3-0-1 against Tampa Bay, in his career against the Southeast Division.
"It's frustrating," Backstrom said. "We can't take penalties every night. Today we didn't get away with it. That's probably a lesson learned."
Tampa Bay lost its first four shootouts this season, failing to score on 14 shots.
"It seemed like we didn't put our heads down going into the shootout," Stamkos said. "It just seemed different. We were confident."
Tampa Bay opted to let the Wild have the first scoring opportunity during the shootout, which is not the team's normal plan.
"Bucking every trend that was possible," Tocchet said.
Pouliot put the Wild ahead 1-0 at 16:53 of the first. James Sheppard set up the goal and stopped a personal 16-game points drought by skating down the slot and making a nifty pass toward the right circle to Pouliot.
Johnsson's power-play goal 3:47 into the second made it 2-0.
"It doesn't matter how we lost," Wild center Mikko Koivu said. "It's a loss, but we got one point. That's about it."
After Stamkos had a short-handed goal at 8:44 of the second, Nolan scored his fourth goal this season from the slot while being pulled down to give Minnesota a 3-1 advantage with 8:25 left in the period.
Nolan tied Ray Bourque for 76th place on the career goals list with 410.
E Lightning D Victor Hedman returned after missing a game because of a concussion.
- Minnesota D Nick Schultz assisted on Pouliot's goal for his first point in 11 games.
- Wild LW Derek Boogaard hasn't scored a goal in his last 175 games, dating to Jan. 7, 2006.