St. Paul, Minn. (CBS) The road woes continue for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who lost a 3-1 game against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center last night.
Mike Yeo went with goaltender Niklas Backstrom after he allowed three goals on eight shots on Sunday night against the Calgary Flames, but Backstrom rebounded in a big way with 32 saves to help his team snap a two-game losing streak.
Steven Stamkos scored the lone goal for the Lightning to remain in second place for goals scored in the NHL, and Mathieu Garon stopped 22 shots and conceded two in the loss.
Both teams battled early on but couldn’t find the back of the net, but in the second period sparks flew. Stamkos netted his 15th goal of the season at 5:53 in the second, but the Wild responded with goals from Cal Clutterbuck and Pierre-Marc Bouchard to give Minnesota a 2-1 advantage heading into the third.
The 1-3-1 trap didn’t work as well as the Lightning had hoped, and the Wild were able to work around the trap and put consistent pressure on their defensive scheme. Power-play opportunities were few and far between for both squads, with the Lightning drawing only two penalties on the Wild during the entire game.
Backstrom was the difference in last night’s victory for the Wild, and with time expiring Guy Boucher pulled Garon, which left the net empty for Mikko Koivu who put in a goal from the neutral zone with 24 seconds left to put the icing on the cake.
Tampa Bay won’t make it far if they can’t figure things out on the road, but hopefully they can rebound Wednesday night when they travel to Detroit to face the RedWings.