Brayden Point put the exclamation point on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s success stretch in the home.
Point scored 36 seconds into overtime and the Lightning completed a great four-game homestand with a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.
“He has been an instrumental player throughout the year,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.
Overshadowed by the top two NHL points pioneers Steven Stamkos (42) and Nikita Kucherov (41), Point has 12 goals and 26 points.
Point eluded a Winnipeg defender and put back a backhander past Connor Hellebuyck for the win. It was his third OT goal this year.
“It is fortune and it has opportunity,” Point stated.
Yanni Gourde, Mikhail Sergachev and Kucherov also scored for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 17 saves. The Lightning shirt the NHL with 13 home wins (13-2-1).
Andrew Copp, Kyle Connors and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for Winnipeg, which has dropped three straight for the first time this year. Hellebuyck stopped 24 shots.
“I believe do not we were as sharp and fast as we are capable of being,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “But pretty good fight.”
Jets were winless on a three-game trip, getting outscored 11-5 in the first two matches.
“This is a significant effort in the end of a road trip,” Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey said. “I thought we played well enough to win.”
Ehlers and Kucherov, with his 20th, traded goals 1:52 apart midway through the third.
Vasileskiy made two strong saves on Ehlers before Kucherov’s goal tied the score 3-3.
Sergachev gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead with 3:21 left in the second when the 19-year old rookie defenceman skated to the slot from the left wing boards, did a spin move and scored on a wrist shot.
Connor made it 2-2 on his 21st birthday only 1:23 later.
Copp opened the scoring 1:23 to the very first to finish a 12-game goal drought. Gourde tied it during a power play with 1:03 left in the period.
Tampa Bay’s league-best power-play unit has a goal in nine straight games, one away from tying the franchise record.
Cedric Paquette seemed to put Tampa Bay up 2-1 12 minutes into the second but the goal was disallowed after a movie review prompted by Winnipeg challenge decided that Chris Kunitz interfered with Hellebuyck.
Paquette has not scored a goal in his last 32 games.
Courtesy: The Globe And Mail