Thrashers
Lightning
2 - 3 Final - OT
  for this game

Lecavalier leads Lightning to first win

Oct 22, 2008 - 3:54 AM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- After their first victory of the season was snatched away late in regulation, the Tampa Bay Lightning relied on their captain to get it back in overtime.

Vincent Lecavalier scored a power-play goal at 1:41 of the extra session, leading the Lightning to a 3-2 triumph over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday.

Mark Recchi and Vaclav Prospal tallied in regulation for Tampa Bay, which opened the season with a 0-2-3 record under new coach Barry Melrose.

"I'd like an easier one," Melrose said. "I'd like a 7-0 (win) or something. But this is probably a really important win for us because of us coming back and winning after giving up a 2-0 lead. That's the most positive thing, the way the guys battled and they didn't quit."

"It's a monkey off our back," Lightning goaltender Mike Smith said. "Hopefully, we can learn from that and figure out how to win games like we did tonight."

The victory left the Philadelphia Flyers (0-3-2), who reached the Eastern Conference finals last season, as the only winless team in the NHL.

Colby Armstrong and Todd White scored third-period goals for the Thrashers, who were outshot, 18-5, in the opening session.

"We got a point, but then reality sets in that we only competed for one period," Atlanta coach John Anderson said. "They wanted it more than us the first two periods and then just held on."

After dropping a pair of one-goal decisions to the New York Rangers in a season-opening two-game series in Prague, Czech Republic, the Lightning suffered two overtime losses and a shootout defeat in their first three contests on North American ice - all at home.

They appeared to be on their way to their first win when White tipped defenseman Mathieu Schneider's shot past Smith with 36 seconds remaining in the third period, knotting the game at 2-2.

"We showed a lot of character by coming back," Schneider said. "You can't fault the effort. Obviously, you're never satisfied if you don't get two points. But we were glad to get one point, especially since we were down 2-0 in the third. We bounced back and did a great job. It's just unfortunate we lost."

However, Lecavalier refused to allow his team to sustain another one-goal loss, taking a backhand pass from Martin St. Louis while Atlanta's Bryan Little sat in the penalty box for tripping and firing a snap shot between the pads of goaltender Kari Lehtonen for his club-leading third tally of the season.

"It was a great pass," Lecavalier said. "I just shot the puck. I didn't really know where it was going. I just tried to shoot it, and it went in."

"Marty won a battle and threw it out to Vinny, who had a great shot," Melrose said. "Hopefully, that'll get those two guys going."

Smith believed it was important St. Louis and Lecavalier teamed up to produce the winning goal.

"Everyone in this room looks up to guys like that," Smith said. "They're All-Star players. You could feel it as soon as the penalty happened. We got our top players on the ice, and they rose to the occasion."

Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead at 7:18 of the first period, when Recchi beat Lehtonen high to the stick side with a one-timer from the right faceoff circle.

Prospal doubled the advantage with 6:50 remaining in the second. After a screened Lehtonen stopped Prospal's shot from the high slot, he inadvertently knocked it into his own net with his glove, giving the Czech his second goal of the season.

"I just turned and didn't know where the puck was and knocked it in," said Lehtonen, who made 35 saves.

Atlanta halved the deficit at 6:37 of the third, when Armstrong tipped a shot by White between Smith's pads for his second tally.

"We didn't play a great third, but two points is two points," said Smith, who turned aside 31 shots. "We'll take it any way we get it."






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    Thrashers 2, Lightning 3  Final - OTOct 21 10:55 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 2 0 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 0 1 3 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARK RECCHI 2 (RADIM VRBATA, JANNE NISKALA) 7:18
    2ND PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 2 (MIKE LUNDIN, MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 13:10
    3RD PRD: ATL - COLBY ARMSTRONG 2 (TODD WHITE) 6:

    Oct 21 10:05 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    TAMPA BAY 3
    OT: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 3 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, PAUL RANGER)
    1:41

    Thrashers 2, Lightning 3  End of OTOct 21 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 2 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 0 2 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARK RECCHI 2 (RADIM VRBATA, JANNE NISKALA) 7:18
    2ND PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 2 (MIKE LUNDIN, MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 13:10
    3RD PRD: ATL - COLBY ARMSTRONG 2 (TODD WHITE) 6:37
    ATL - TODD WHITE 2 (MATHIE

    Oct 21 9:57 PM
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    Thrashers 2, Lightning 2  End of Reg.Oct 21 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    TAMPA BAY 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - TODD WHITE 2 (MATHIEU SCHNEIDER, RON HAINSEY) 19:24

    Thrashers 2, Lightning 2  3rd - 0:36Oct 21 9:56 PM
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    Thrashers 2, Lightning 2  3rd - 0:36Oct 21 9:56 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    TAMPA BAY 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - COLBY ARMSTRONG 2 (TODD WHITE) 6:37

    Thrashers 1, Lightning 2  3rd - 13:23Oct 21 9:34 PM
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    Thrashers 0, Lightning 2  3rd - 19:55Oct 21 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARK RECCHI 2 (RADIM VRBATA, JANNE NISKALA) 7:18
    2ND PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 2 (MIKE LUNDIN, MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 13:10
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 5 13

    Oct 21 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    TAMPA BAY 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 2 (MIKE LUNDIN, MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 13:10

    Thrashers 0, Lightning 2  2nd - 6:50Oct 21 8:56 PM
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    Thrashers 0, Lightning 2  2nd - 6:50Oct 21 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARK RECCHI 2 (RADIM VRBATA, JANNE NISKALA) 7:18
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 5 5
    TAM 18 18
    GOALIES: ATL - KARI LEHTONEN
    TAM

    Oct 21 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARK RECCHI 2 (RADIM VRBATA, JANNE NISKALA) 7:18

    Thrashers 0, Lightning 1  1st - 12:42Oct 21 7:52 PM