Nate Thompson scores, but Lightning fall in OT to Jets
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Winnipeg Jets felt much better after ending their road trip with a victory.
Mark Scheifele scored 1:04 into overtime and the Jets beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Saturday night.
Scheifele scored from the near post off a nifty pass by Blake Wheeler from the left-wing boards.
“It was a great pass by Wheeler,” Scheifele said. “I owe it all to him.”
Wheeler also had a goal for Winnipeg, which finished 4-2 on its longest road trip of the season. The Jets were coming off a 5-2 loss Thursday night at Florida.
“It would have been disappointing to go home 3-3,” coach Claude Noel said. “That would have been a tough one.”
Jets backup goalie Al Montoya made 28 saves. He caught a break during the first minute of overtime when Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn sent a shot off the post.
Tampa Bay got a goal from Nate Thompson, and backup goalie Anders Lindback stopped 34 shots.
“He was exceptional when we needed him,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
Thompson tied it at 1 on a shot from the slot with just more than a second left in the second period.
Martin St. Louis won an offensive zone faceoff before Radko Gudas sent a pass to Thompson, who had been thrown out of the faceoff circle and hadn’t scored in his previous 19 games.
With his assist, St. Louis moved past Jason Arnott into 91st place on the NHL points list with 939.
Wheeler put the Jets up 1-0 on his 100th NHL goal 5:25 into the game. His redirection of Jacob Trouba’s shot eluded Lindback.
Winnipeg, which held the lead after the first period for just the fifth time this season, outshot Tampa Bay 15-5 during the opening 20 minutes.
“It was a tale of two games,” Cooper said. “There was a clear distinction between the first 30 minutes and the last 30 minutes.”
Montoya made a nice save on Andrej Sustr’s shot from the slot in the first.
Lindback stopped an in-close backhander by Olli Jokinen during a Jets second-period power play.
NOTES: The Jets are 8-6-4 in one-goal games. … Linesman Brian Murphy worked his 1,500th NHL game. … Cooper said D Victor Hedman, who left Thursday night’s 3-1 win over Ottawa due to a lower-body injury and is expected to miss a week, is feeling better. … Winnipeg RW Michael Frolik played after missing one game because of flu-like symptoms. … Lightning D Eric Brewer (lower body) and Gudas (upper body) both returned to the lineup. … Jets LW Evander Kane missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury. … Tampa Bay prospect Jonathan Drouin, selected third overall in this year’s amateur draft and playing for Halifax of the QMJHL, is sidelined by what the team is calling a mild concussion. The left wing was hurt in a game Friday.