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Sunday, Nov 18, 2018
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Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning falls to Wild in overtime

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Lightning coach Jon Cooper wasn't kidding when he said Xcel Energy is a tough place to play.

The Lightning extended its winless streak in Minnesota to six games under Cooper on Saturday with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Wild as Mikael Granlund scored with 1:17 left in overtime.

The Lightning (4-1-1) left with a point despite two periods in which the Wild outplayed it.

"This one stings," defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. "We've got to learn here to not take a period off."

The Lightning needed to grab an early lead to have a chance in an arena in which it has not won since 2010-11.

Ryan Callahan scored his first goal of the season in his second game back from shoulder surgery as he tipped in defenseman Anton Stralman's shot not even 2:30 into the game. The goal was also crucial in that it shifted the Wild's early momentum.

Minnesota came out firing and had a goal waived off because left wing Zach Parise knocked the puck into the net with his glove. Then, Tampa Bay scored another goal via left wing Yanni Gourde, with Minnesota native McDonagh picking up the assist to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead with 9:10 left in the first period.

"We had it going on all cylinders there in the first period and felt good about ourselves," McDonagh said.

But Minnesota was not about to go away quietly. After Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon failed to score on a prime opportunity in the slot, Charlie Coyle scored about 30 seconds later to make it a 2-1 game with 6:37 left.

As Joe Satriani's song Crowd Chant rocked Xcel Energy Center, it seemed as if momentum was shifting to the home team. J.T. Miller had other ideas.

During the first power play of the night, Miller gave the Lightning a 3-1 lead as he redirected Victory Hedman's shot with 4:45 left in the first. This was the last time the Lightning really held any consistent momentum.

Wild left wing Marcus Foligno scored to bring Minnesota within 3-2 about four minutes into the second. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy couldn't make that difficult save, but he more than made up for it through the rest of the period.

"He made either a great save, or he let it in," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said.

As the Lightning struggled to get a shot off in the first seven minutes, the Wild continued to crash the net and put Vasilevskiy under constant pressure, outshooting Tampa Bay 13-8 in the second. But Vasilevskiy made every save in the second after that goal as he stopped sometimes multiple consecutive shots most goaltenders would not have stopped.

He stopped 29 of 34 shots faced on Saturday.

None was more impressive than the one he made with his left leg with nine minutes left. But that Vasilevskiy had to make these spectacular saves was problematic.

"I think we stopped doing the things that made us successful in the first period," Stralman said.

Minnesota's knack for committing penalties also helped the Lightning maintain its lead until the third period. Tampa Bay went on the power play twice in the period but failed to convert on either attempt. It finished 1-for-5.

The Wild didn't do much better on the power play, either, failing to convert on both chances.

The Wild came seconds away from scoring during the second.

Minnesota fans barked at their team to shoot in the final seconds of a power play in the third as the Wild continued to pass the puck rather than shoot. Then, Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu listened.

Moments after the power play expired, he put a puck on net, and Parise tied the score at 3-3 as he poked the puck into the net with 9:15 left in the third.

The Wild's success didn't stop there. Jason Zucker scored less than three minutes later to give Minnesota its first lead of the game.

"I don't think it should go that far," Stralman said. "I think we have to manage it much better."

It didn't last long, though. Less than two minutes later, Stralman tied the score at 4 with 4:58 left in the third. This came after he took a puck to the neck earlier in the period. He forced the overtime period in which Granlund played hero.

"(Stralman) was incredible today," McDonagh said. "Certainly salvaged us a point there when we probably didn't deserve it the way we played the last two periods."

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