Well, you don't see that very often. "That" being...
- A team having two different three-goal leads.
- A team blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.
- A team actually falling behind after having two three-goal leads.
- A team coming from behind to win having previously held two three-goal leads.
But it happened tonight and the team that did all of those things was the Tampa Bay Lightning, halting their two-game losing streak in the process.
"We most likely should have lost that game, but somehow we found a way. We will take that but there has to be more urgency in our efforts and in our game right now." - Anton Stralman
"Just because we did win doesn't mean that everything is great because you're not going to win games when you play consistently like that. This group has to realize that and I think we definitely got the message." - Steven Stamkos
The first period saw most of the action take place in the Lightning end, with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy making a number of difficult saves to keep the Jets off the scoreboard. Winnipeg would wind up outshooting the Lightning 13-8 in the period. Three of those Lightning shots would find the back of the net during a four minute stretch to end that period.
The first came at 15:38 when Victor Hedman scored with an assist from J.T. Brown.
The second came at 17:52 when Jonathan Marchessault scored his first goal since December 30, with Alex Killorn chipping in with the lone assist.
Lastly, at 19:39 Steven Stamkos scored with helpers from Ryan Callahan and Andrej Sustr to send the Lightning into intermission up 3-0
At 13:45 of the second, Winnipeg got their first goal when Tyler Myers scored on assists from Anthony Peluso and Adam Lowry.
The tone of the game changed at 17:04 of the second when Anton Stralman hit Bryan Little with his head down as he skated through the neutral zone. Little was down on the ice for some time, needed assistance getting to the bench and didn't return. Stralman was given two minutes for Roughing and things got decidedly more chippy between the two teams after that.
"I don't play the game to try and hurt anybody. I just tried to play a hit and he lost his edge a little bit, lost his balance and I was in his way. There is not much I can do to really pull out of that one." - Stralman
"Yeah, I mean you don't want to see that, right? I understand he's probably in a vulnerable spot. I think he's stumbling for three or four steps, so as a d-man you know he's in a vulnerable spot. Do you need to try to take his head off? I don't think so. It's a clear headshot, hopefully the league looks at it and takes care of it, but I like the response of our group from that point on, too." - Winnipeg's Andrew Ladd
At the end of two, the Lightning led 3-1.
Little wasn't the only Jet to not return for the third period; Upset about the hit itself and even more so about what he perceived as the officials reaction to it, Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice was given a Game Misconduct penalty during the intermission.
"Upset because you work with these guys every day and you care about them. You care about their wives and their families, and Bryan Little's getting his neck x-rayed, and I seem to be considerably more concerned about the result of that hit than anyone else." - Maurice
Just two minutes into the third, the Lightning scored again, with Killorn converting a nice,pass from Callahan.
Then, eight minutes and 44 seconds of the kind of breakdowns that have been prevalent during this recent stretch for the Lightning happened.
At 6:01, the Jets Mark Schiefele scored on the power play goal, getting an assist from Jacob Trouba.
Just a over a minute and a half later, Andrew Ladd scored shorthanded to bring the Jets within one. Joel Armia had the lone helper.
At 12:44 Vasilevskiey stopped a shot from Ladd, but the rebound was misplayed by Ondrej Palat and bounced off his skate into the net for the tying goal. Schiefele was credited with the assist on the play.
Just under two minutes later, the Jets took the lead on another power play goal, this time from Mathieu Perreault with assistance from Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien and it looked like a complete Lightning collapse was in the books.
But just 24 seconds after that, Nikita Kucherov tied the game for the Lightning, scoring unassisted at 15:04.
The Lightning were presented a golden opportunity when Winnipeg's Trouba was whistled for Delay of Game with 46 seconds remaining in regulation that carried over into the ensuing overtime but couldn't cash in.
Callahan and Stamkos tallied in the shootout to get the win.
"It definitely wasn't a full 60 (minutes). I thought we had a really good first period. You know, we find a way to get a 3-0 lead and we give that up. And especially the 4-1 lead; we give that up in the third period. That's not good enough. I mean, we talk about being better defensively and tonight that wasn't there. We showed character coming back, we responded well after they took the lead and that's good to see, but at the end of the day, we have to be better on the other side of the puck." - Callahan
The Lightning will now hit the road for back-to-back games this weekend at Pitsburgh Saturday and Carolina on Sunday before returning home next Tuesday to host the Arizona Coyotes.
- The Lightning are now 6-2-1 in the final games of extended homestands this season.
- This was the second and final meeting between the Jets and Lightning, with Tampa Bay winning both games.
- The Lightning saw their streak of games without giving up a goal on the power play snapped at four.
- Tonight was Marchessault's first goal wearing the number 81.
- Hedman scored his sixth goal of the season, his first at home.
- J.T. Brown has seven points in his last 12 games, with four goals and three assists.
- The Lightning honored Nicole Marchman as the 31st Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game. Marchman, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Wheels of Success. Tonight's community hero is notable for changing many lives around the Tampa Bay area. After experiencing abuse as a child, she decided to combat abuse head on by creating the None Lost Movement. The organization gives counseling to youth and local families and support groups to students in order to break the cycle of abuse. Since beginning her work, she has assisted over 600 homeless youth from ages 18 to 24. These initiatives have helped the youth realize that there is an opportunity to escape abuse. Her donation to Wheels of Success will directly benefit working families by having transportation services being supplied to them. Above all, Marchman's belief in paying it forward has made the Tampa Bay community safer from abuse. Marchman becomes the 210th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $10.65 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.