NHL Game Summary - Los Angeles at Tampa Bay
(Tuesday, February 6th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Los Angeles 2 (SO)
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Brad Richards was credited with the game-winning goal in the shootout and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Vinny Lecavalier and Blair Jones scored the regulation goals for Tampa Bay, which has won four straight games and 11 of its last 13 overall. The Lightning have surged into second place in the Southeast Division and will now embark on a brief two-game road trip to the New York City region for games against the Rangers and Devils. Johan Holmqvist notched 29 saves in the win.
"Good teams win these types of games and we found a way," said Lightning head coach John Tortorella.
Mike Weaver scored the first goal of his career and Derek Armstrong also scored for the struggling Kings, who have only two wins in their last 13 games overall (2-8-3). Los Angeles goaltender Sean Burke allowed two goals on 29 shots.
After the Kings rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period, the teams played a furious overtime period which saw several quality scoring chances from both sides. The Lightning nearly won it when Eric Perrin hit the crossbar on a wrister from inside the right circle 2:20 into the extra session. However, both goaltenders stood tall and the shootout began.
All three of Tampa's shooters beat Burke with a forehand (left-handed) wrist shot. Lecavalier was the first to score before Holmqvist stopped Alexander Frolov. Richards then buried a blazing wrister but Anze Kopitar scored on the other end to keep LA alive. However, Martin St. Louis put the nail in the coffin when he pinned his wrist shot into the upper-right corner of the net as the Lightning celebrated the victory.
"We played hard and came back from a 2-0 deficit," said Burke. "It was unfortunate and I would have loved to have gotten us the win in the shootout."
Before five minutes elapsed in the first period, the Lightning held a 2-0 lead.
Lecavalier's 34th goal of the season at the 2:23 mark opened the scoring. On the power play, Richards crossed the blue line along the left-wing side on a 3-on-2 rush and, from inside the circle, passed into the slot for a shot by Ryan Craig. The save was made on Craig's initial shot as well as his rebound attempt, but the puck squirted loose and Lecavalier punched it home from near the right post.
Less than two minutes later, the hosts grabbed a two-goal edge. Strong forechecking along the rear boards by Jones kept the puck deep in the offensive zone and Andre Roy took control near the base of the half-wall while Jones curled along the outer rim of the right circle to get into a shooting position. Roy fed a soft pass and Jones ripped a one-timer that clanked off the left post and into the back of the cage at 4:18.
"We went down 2-0 in their building in the first 7-8 minutes, which can be pretty intimidating," Burke said.
Following a scoreless second period, Weaver took control in the third and brought the visitors even at 2-2.
Weaver's first career goal was scored 1:13 into the stanza. The Lightning tried unsuccessfully to clear the puck from their defensive zone and it deflected off skates and sticks before Weaver wound up for a slap shot from the high right slot. The puck made its way through massive traffic in front, bounced off Holmqvist and trickled over the goal line.
With 12:19 remaining in regulation, Armstrong's ninth goal knotted the contest when he deflected home a slap shot from the left point by Weaver.
Tampa Bay (62 points) trails first-place Atlanta by five points...Lecavalier's 34 goals lead the NHL...Kings forward Mike Cammalleri, who has a six-game point streak, missed the game with a muscle strain...This was the first game for the Kings since Monday's multi-player trade that sent forward Sean Avery to the Rangers for Jason Ward...This marked LA's first game at Tampa Bay since November 6, 2003...The Kings were scoreless on their only power-play chance while the hosts finished 1-for-3 with the extra skater...Attendance was 18,273.
02/07 00:05:10 ET