The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in overtime in what was a crazy back and forth game Thursday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Tampa Bay and Chicago finished their season series just three weeks into the 2013-14 campaign with the Lightning taking the series 2-0-0.
The first meeting between these two clubs, the Tampa Bay Lightning failed to record a shot in the first period, but did see an improved result Thursday night recording a total of four shots on goal, one of which was put into the back of the net off the stick of Matt Carle while on the power play.
Tampa Bay extended their lead to 2-0 while shorthanded for a too many men on the ice penalty. Forwards B.J Crombeen rushed up the ice on a two on one slid the puck under a sprawling Duncan Keith stick over to Nate Thompson who buried the puck past Nikolai Khabibulin.
Chicago quickly made a two goal defecit disappear getting goals from Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa just 1:36 apart, that set up the beginning back and forth game.
Chicago outshot Tampa Bay 43-25 and had 6 power play chances with a couple opportunities to add insurance goals but were able to capitalize once against Ben Bishop.
The Blackhawks were certainly strong on the puck, providing constistent pressure in the LIghtning’s defensive zone that began from the first puck drop. Chicago managed to obtain a point in the overtime loss but was not expecting a fight to six goals after 60 minutes of play.
“We’ll take the point especially the way it evolved in the third period, a crazy third period, things you’ve never seen before,” Quenneville said. “We were victimized by what we did a couple of times but we were fortunate to get that one at the end as well. I didn’t like the ending.”
Khabibulin struggled between the pipes for Chicago against his former team where he celebrated a Stanley Cup back in 2004. He allowed all six goals on 25 shots he faced.
At the other end, Ben Bishop must have felt like he was at target practice facing a total of 42 shots and stopping 37 of those shots. Bishop made some timely saves specifically while his team was kiling penalties and was able to provide his team with a chance to win.
Steven Stamkos provided the lead back to Tampa Bay after racing into the offensive zone and firing a snap shot high, stick side of Khabibulin.
Patrick Kane made sure that lead didn’t last long, as he scored just 1:32 after Stamkos when he split the defense of Andrej Sustr and Eric Brewer and slipping one past Bishop.
Things really started to get a bit strange as regulation time began to wind down.
Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman tied the game at 4-4 at the 11:03 mark of the third period on a wrist shot that found its way under Khabibulin.
Tampa Bay had the man advantage after MIchal Handzus was called for delay of game for a faceoff violation that setup the go ahead goal off the stick of Steven Stamkos in the high slot with 2:29 remaining in regulation.
The Blackhawks got their fifth goal of the game on a pass from Carle that was sent back to Radko Gudas in the Tampa Bay zone that deflected off of his stick and past Bishop.
Jonathan Toews got credit for the goal as he was the last Chicago player to touch the puck.
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper spoke of the strange goal following Thursday night’s game.
“I honestly can’t recall a goal as strange as that that I can sit here and say I was behind the bench for,” Cooper said. “I don’t even know if the 18,000 people here knew how that went in.”
Lightning Captain, Martin St. Louis scored the game winner just 1:16 into the overtime period after picking up a rebound after a shot was taking by Gudas.
“You look at the game that we stole in Chicago … I don’t think we stole tonight’s,” Cooper said.
Gudas spoke about his redemption for own goal in third period.
“Obviously, that makes it a little better,” Gudas said. “We got the win after all, even if something like that happens.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning improve to 6-3-0 and will complete their seven game homestand on Saturday night when the Buffalo Sabres (1-9-1) come in to the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Martin St. Louis continued to move up career points ladder as he moved past Neal Broten (923) with his 924th career point.
Steven Stamkos now has 400 career points (215 goals, 185 assists) in 382 games played.