Tampa Bay, Fla. (CBS) Steven Stamkos came through in a big way Thursday night, netting the winning goal 30 seconds into overtime to top the Calgary Flames 5-4 at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The overtime goal brought Stamkos (19) into a tie with Ottawa’s Milan Michalek for the league lead.
Tampa Bay secured a 4-2 lead heading into the third period, but two goals for the Flames in the final period extended the game and wiped away the three goals scored by the bolts in the second period.
Considering the way the Lightning (13-16-2) have been playing in recent weeks, holding a generous lead late in the game became a pleasant surprise.
Tom Pyatt, Ryan Malone and Nate Thompson provided the goals from the second-tier of offense, and at that point it seemed like Tampa Bay would walk away with an easy win.
But Calgary had other plans. Rene Bourque scored a breakaway goal nearly a minute into the third period, and Olli Jokinen beat Mathieu Garon on a power-play opportunity with 3:12 left in regulation to bring it to 4-4.
Luck hasn’t been on the Lightning’s side during their unfortunate slide to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but for once pucks bounced the right way. Teddy Purcell opened the scoring when he centered a pass from behind the Calgary net, only for it to bounce off a Flames’ player into the net.
The Flames answered with a goal from Matt Stajan late in the first, then another 1:57 into the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Soon after the bolts were able to dominate the second period, out-shooting the Flames 18-5.
Calgary turned the tables on the Lightning in the third period, showering Garon with 13 shots compared to the five the bolts got off.
It was an unconventional win to say the least, but right now the bolts will take what they can get. They split their two-game homestand, and now they will be back on the road to face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.