Tampa Bay 5 Calgary 4
TAMPA, Fla. — Steven Stamkos gave the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning a big lift with a quick goal.
Stamkos scored his 19th goal of the season 30 seconds into overtime and the Lightning beat the Calgary Flames 5-4 on Thursday night.
“We’re struggling to get wins, and you need to take them anyway you get them,” Stamkos said. “Hopefully this is the start of something good.”
Stamkos got the winner from in close off a nifty pass from Eric Brewer.
Teddy Purcell, Tom Pyatt, Ryan Malone and Nate Thompson also scored for the Lightning, who had lost seven of eight.
“We feel we’ve been playing better, but sometimes that doesn’t show up on the scoresheet,” Brewer said. “We found a way to win even though it was a bit of a goofy game at times.”
Calgary got goals from Matt Stajan, Jarome Iginla, Rene Bourque and Olli Jokinen. The Flames are 6-3-1 over their last 10 games.
“We can’t keep throwing these points away,” Flames defenceman Derek Smith said. “We’re beating ourselves, and if we want to keep climbing the standings we can’t let this happen again.”
Calgary rebounded from a two-goal, third-period deficit when Bourque scored on a breakaway in the opening minute and Jokinen redirected Alex Tanguay’s shot past Mathieu Garon during a power play with 3:12 to go in regulation.
Jokinen took the blame for Stamkos’ goal after getting caught deep in the offensive zone.
“The overtime goal was my fault … I should have stayed high,” Jokinen said. “You put yourself in a position where you have a chance to win and get two points, then a mistake like that on my part, not playing smart hockey, cost us an extra point.”
After Pyatt scored with 9:50 to go in the second, Malone gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead from the left circle just under two minutes later. Thompson made it 4-2 with 33.4 seconds to go in the period when his shot went into the net off Calgary defenceman Chris Butler’s leg.
“We played two terrific periods,” Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. “What we saw there in the third is just a lack of confidence that stems from the previous games slipping away. The two big periods like that to start, getting five goals from pretty much all lines certainly is going to give us more confidence.”
Calgary went ahead 2-1 when Iginla scored his 12th goal this season and 496thh of his career from the top of the left circle 1:57 into the second. The Flames’ captain is two goals away from tying Glenn Anderson for 42nd place all-time.
Purcell put the Lightning ahead 1-0 during a power play at 5:11 of the first. Purcell sent the puck toward the net from a tough angle that went off goalie Miikka Kiprusoff’s stick and then Butler’s body.
Thompson (20 games) and Purcell (16 games) both stopped personal goal-scoring droughts
Stajan tied it 1-1 with his first goal in 36 games, dating to March 12 against Vancouver, with 32.2 seconds left in the first.
This was just the third time Calgary has played a regular-season game at Tampa Bay since the start of the 2002-03 season. The Flames played four times in Florida against the Lightning in the 2004 Stanley Cup finals, which was won by Tampa Bay.