The Tampa Bay Lightning enjoyed an exciting 6-5 victory against the Winnipeg Jets at Amalie Arena on Thursday after a wild shootout to determine the outcome. Steven Stamkos beat Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec with a wrist shot high on the stick side to score the game-winner in the fifth round of the shootout. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made stops on four of five Jets shooters in the tiebreaker. Pavelec allowed two goals in the shootout. The Lightning won the shootout 2-1.
During the match, Tampa Bay got regulation goals from Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov. Stamkos scored his 299th NHL goal in the first period of the game. Andrew Ladd had two goals for the Jets. Tyler Myers, Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault had the other goals for the Jets. Both goalies made a number strong saves in a wild overtime period. Vasilevskiy made 36 saves through overtime, while Pavelec had 21 saves.
The victory was surprising to some after the Lightning blew a three-goal lead in the third period.
However, some expected the outcome, seeing that the Jets are 0-21-3 when behind entering the third period. Tampa Bay finished its four-game homestand 2-2-0 after losing the middle two.
Jets forward Bryan Little was injured on a hit by Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman late in the second period. It appeared that Little lost his balance after contact in the neutral zone with Hedman and lowered his head before getting hit by Stralman. Little hurt his neck and needed assistance off the ice. Blake Wheeler went after Stralman and was given four minutes for roughing. Stralman got a two-minute roughing penalty. Little did not return.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice had a heated discussion with officials after the Little play and was given a bench minor at the end of the second period. He continued to argue with the officials before the start of the third period and was ejected. Maurice said he was not happy with the demeanor of the officials and their lack of concern for his player.
Maurice said, “I was upset because you work with these guys every day and you care about them. You care about their wives and their families, and Bryan is getting his neck X-rayed, and I seem to be more concerned about the result of that hit than anyone else.”