WINNIPEG - Regardless if it was an Olympic nod or snub, the Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to use Tuesday's Olympic roster announcements as motivation in a 4-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.
Valterri Filppula and Ondrej Palat, who will both represent their respective countries in Sochi this February, continue to be offensive threats for the Lightning with one goal apiece Tuesday evening.
While Martin St. Louis on the other hand, a shocking omission from Team Canada, scored two goals to help Tampa Bay capture six of a possible eight points on a four-game Western Canada road trip.
"I'm happy we got the win," St. Louis said. "In regards to Team Canada you obviously know how I feel, I'm disappointed and I'll just leave it at that."
"I know he really wanted to make that team," head coach Jon Cooper said. "But he did what he does best, the whistle blew and he scored two goals. I'm really happy for him."
For the second straight game the Lightning put a marker on the board first, this time at 1:20 from Filppula, who now has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his past 11 games. Teddy Purcell's primary assist also quietly gives him assists in five consecutive games.
"Our line is continuing to get more familiar with each other," Purcell said. "For whatever reason the bounces weren't going our way earlier, but we stuck with it and stayed positive and those bounces are going our way now."
Fifteen minutes later fellow Team Finland teammate for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Olli Jokinen, knotted the game at one. Anders Lindback caused a delay of game minor after flipping the puck over the glass resulting in a 5-on-3 shorthanded situation. The Jets capitalized on the power play 13 seconds later for the tie at 16:43.
Winnipeg then jumped ahead 2-1 as Dustin Byfuglien netted the second power-play tally of the game for the Jets at 4:45 of the middle frame, yet Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat scored the game-tying goal before the end of 40 minutes of play. Palat now has points in seven straight games, which is now a league-best among rookies this season, surpassing the Jets' Mark Scheifele's six-game point streak from December 12 to December 22.
"It was a 3-on-2 situation and [Alex] Killorn sent it to [Nikita] Kucherov. Kucherov then passed it to me and I scored on the open net," Palat said.
At nearly the midway point of the third, Nate Thompson hit his head on the boards after a board from Michael Frolik, leaving him on the ground momentarily before heading off to the trainer's room for a brief period of time.
The Lightning responded with the game-leading goal on the ensuing power play, as Frolik was given a boarding minor. The power-play goal came from St. Louis, who re-gained his lead for goals on the team (18) after Filppula had previously tied him with 17 in the first period.
With less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation St. Louis added an insurance goal, again on the power play, after the Jets added the extra attacker on the ice and netminder Ondrej Pavelec on the bench.
UP NEXT – After opening 2014 on the road, the Lightning return to the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the first time since December 29 to play the Washington Capitals Thursday evening. They then return to the road for three games against the Metropolitan Division's Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers starting Saturday.
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