for this game

Wild rally in third period to defeat Lightning

Nov 28, 2008 - 11:26 PM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Staff Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Facing a one-goal deficit and having lost three of four games on the current homestand, the Minnesota Wild needed a spark. It came in an unlikely way.

Mikko Koivu's sliding goal six minutes into the third period gave the Wild a come-from-behind 4-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday in a rare afternoon contest.

"We were not happy with the first two periods," Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom said. "Everyone wanted to step up. I want to step up and play big. You just try to go out there, do your best and stay focused. We got a good period and we got a win."

Koivu's highlight goal - his sixth of the season - capped the rally as the Wild entered the third period trailing, 2-1.

The Finn slid across the slot and was tripped by a pair of Tampa Bay defenders. As he was falling to the ice, Koivu was able to slip the puck under the left pad of 6-4 goaltender Mike Smith, who had dropped to block the shot.

"Right now, we are just a little step behind," said Smith, who stopped 29 shots. "For 40 minutes, we were great. Mentally, I don't know if we get tired. We just have those lapses during games and we've got to find a way to get out of those."

Owen Nolan scored in the first period for the Wild before James Sheppard tallied 2:10 into the third to tie the contest. Eric Belanger added an empty-netter with 23 seconds remaining.

Minnesota won for the first time since December 29 when trailing after two periods.

"I think we played a little soft in the second period," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "I know the guys were talking about it between periods. In the third, I think we came out more solid. Everyone was skating hard, a lot more than in the second."

Marc-Andre Bergeron and Antti Miettinen had two assists for the Wild while Sheppard also picked up an assist for his first two-point game since January 10.

Sheppard notched his second goal of the season, deflecting Bergeron's slap shot from the point past Smith.

Tampa Bay failed to convert a 5-on-3 late in the third period, despite peppering Backstrom with six shots during the two-man advantage.

Backstrom recorded 19 of his 35 saves in the third period. He is 3-0-0 all-time against the Lightning, having allowed just four goals in the three games.

"I think it was good for us to get some emotion out there and play with heart," Backstrom added. "We showed that we are here and that we really care about each other in the locker room and that we want to win."

Ryan Malone and Radim Vrbata scored for Tampa Bay, which has one win in its past nine games.

Smith stopped 29 shots, but it was not enough to prevent the Lightning from falling to 1-2-3 since Rick Tocchet replaced Barry Melrose as coach on November 14.

"It's disappointing because we had a really good second," Tocchet said. "It's just seems like we are waiting for something bad to happen instead of just sticking to what we are trying to do. A couple of guys with the deer-in-the-headlights look, we can't have that. We have to keep attacking."

Malone's controversial goal gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead 9:51 into the second.

Standing alone in front of Backstrom, Malone missed the puck on a centering pass.

But as Backstrom tried to clear the puck out of the crease, captain Vincent Lecavalier came crashing into Backstrom and cleared an opening for Malone, who flipped the puck into the open net for his sixth of the season.

"Vinny kind of cleared everyone out of there for me and I just put it into the open net," Malone said. "We're putting pucks on net and trying to get those dirty goals like that. I think tonight, the power play, the big 5-on-3 at the end, has got to get the job done. It didn't."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 0 2
    MINNESOTA 1 0 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - OWEN NOLAN 3 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, JAMES SHEPPARD) 12:07
    TAM - (PP) RADIM VRBATA 3 (STEVEN STAMKOS, PAUL RANGER)
    19:20
    2ND PRD: TAM - RYAN MALONE 6 (VINCENT LECAVALIER) 9:51
    3RD PRD: MIN - JAMES SHEPPARD 2 (MARC-AN

    Nov 28 4:34 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MINNESOTA 4
    3RD PRD: MIN - (EN) ERIC BELANGER 6 (UNASSISTED) 19:37

    Lightning 2, Wild 4  3rd - 0:23Nov 28 4:32 PM
  • 5
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 17 roots

    Lightning 2, Wild 4  3rd - 0:23Nov 28 4:32 PM
  • 22
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Lightning 2, Wild 3  3rd - 1:19Nov 28 4:30 PM
  • 5
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Lightning 2, Wild 3  3rd - 13:50Nov 28 4:09 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MINNESOTA 3
    3RD PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 6 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, MARC-ANDRE BERGERON)
    6:10

    Lightning 2, Wild 3  3rd - 13:50Nov 28 4:05 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MINNESOTA 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 3 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, JAMES SHEPPARD)
    2:02

    Lightning 2, Wild 2  3rd - 17:58Nov 28 3:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 2
    MINNESOTA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - OWEN NOLAN 3 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, JAMES SHEPPARD) 12:07
    TAM - (PP) RADIM VRBATA 3 (STEVEN STAMKOS, PAUL RANGER)
    19:20
    2ND PRD: TAM - RYAN MALONE 6 (VINCENT LECAVALIER) 9:51
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Nov 28 3:39 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    MINNESOTA 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - RYAN MALONE 6 (UNASSISTED) 9:51

    Lightning 2, Wild 1  2nd - 10:09Nov 28 3:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1
    MINNESOTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - OWEN NOLAN 3 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, JAMES SHEPPARD) 12:07
    TAM - (PP) STEVEN STAMKOS 3 (PAUL RANGER, ANDREW HUTCHINSON)
    19:20
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 11

    Nov 28 2:46 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) STEVEN STAMKOS 3 (PAUL RANGER, ANDREW HUTCHINSON)
    19:20

    Lightning 1, Wild 1  1st - 0:40Nov 28 2:45 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: MIN - OWEN NOLAN 3 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, JAMES SHEPPARD) 12:07

    Lightning 0, Wild 1  1st - 7:53Nov 28 2:31 PM