NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Minnesota
(Monday, November 28th)
Final Score: Minnesota 3, Tampa Bay 1
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Niklas Backstrom stopped 32 shots to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Cal Clutterbuck and Mikko Koivu each had a goal and an assist while Pierre- Marc Bouchard scored the other goal for the Wild, who snapped a two-game slide.
"We had some trouble getting through their defense early on," said Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo. "You're not going to be able to dance through their zone. You just have to keep forcing them with the forecheck and aggressive play. It's difficult, but they can be beat and we were able to do that tonight."
Steven Stamkos scored the lone goal for the Lightning, who had won their previous two. Mathieu Garon stopped 21-of-23 shots.
The first 20 minutes passed without a goal, but the Lightning struck 5:53 into the second when Stamkos skated into the Minnesota end and from the right circle and snapped a hard wrister into the left corner.
However, a pair of turnovers from Tampa allowed Minnesota to take the lead with the first goal coming at the 7:39 mark of the second.
Eric Brewer tried to bring the puck out of his end up the middle, but lost control and it was grabbed by Koivu, who slid over to the right side before sending it back to the slot where Clutterbuck waited for Garon to commit before putting it in for a shorthanded goal.
"Obviously it sucks when you let in a shorty like that," said Stamkos. "We need to find a way to generate better on our power play or else we're not going to win much."
With under three minutes to play in the second, good work in the Tampa end caused a turnover and Nick Johnson sent a backhand pass from the slot over to the right circle where Bouchard's one-timer sailed home.
Backstrom kept the lead by making 13 saves in the third period and Koivu sealed the win with an empty-netter, the 100th goal of his career.
Tampa plays in Detroit on Wednesday...Minnesota plays at Edmonton on Wednesday...These teams split a pair of games last season, but Monday's contest was the only meeting for this season...Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play.
11/28 22:43:43 ET