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Steven Stamkos lifts Lightning to victory over Wild

Eduardo A. Encina, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Hockey

TAMPA, Fla. — When the Lightning last played the Wild three weeks ago, they were the victims of a few bad bounces that wound up in their net, resulting in a four-goal loss in Minnesota.

Tuesday night began with a pregame ceremony honoring Steven Stamkos for reaching the 500-goal mark last week in Vancouver. It ended with Stamkos getting the game-winner in an imperfect but hard-fought 4-2 win at Amalie Arena.

Goal No. 505 was a byproduct of a swift shot and a little bit of luck, as Stamkos scooped up a rebound near the right post and put the puck in the air across the front, where it deflected off Minnesota forward Ryan Hartman and into the net with 5:38 remaining.

Nikita Kucherov added an empty-net goal with 16.4 seconds left to give the Lightning the two-goal win.

The Lightning rebounded from back-to-back losses at the end of their just-completed five-game road trip. Tampa Bay has yet to lose three straight games this season, and its ability to avoid losing streaks has put it in strong playoff position again just past the midpoint of the regular season.

When these teams met Jan. 4 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Lightning were on the short end of a 5-1 loss that left a bad taste in their mouths. They had one goal go in off one of their skates, another deflect off one of their players, and allowed an empty-netter after the puck skipped off a stick.

 

It looked like it might be another unlucky night Tuesday, when the Lightning allowed their league-high ninth short-handed goal after Mikhail Sergachev’s turnover gave Minnesota forward Joel Eriksson Ek a breakaway. With Sergachev trying to backcheck him, Eriksson made a move on Andrei Vasilevskiy, breaking the puck back to his forehand with Vasilevskiy committed the other way, to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.

Corey Perry helped keep the Lightning in the game with a pair of game-tying, tip-in goals off Ross Colton shots on net. Perry’s first goal came five seconds after a power play expired, tipping in Colton’s shot from the right circle at 9:44 to tie the game at 1.

With 9:03 left in the second, Sergachev was whistled for tripping and Brandon Hagel received a 10-minute misconduct for abusive language after arguing that he took an uncalled high stick.

Wild star forward Kirill Kaprizov made the Lightning pay with a power-play goal, putting in a rebound from the slot to make it 2-1 with 8:18 left in the second.

Perry tied the game again on the power play, tipping in another Colton shot with 1:55 left in the period, giving Perry his first two-goal game since Dec. 5, 2021 at Philadelphia.

©2023 Tampa Bay Times. Visit at tampabay.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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