The NHL’s hottest scorer helped the Tampa Bay Lightning extend the NHL’s longest active win streak over the Atlanta Thrashers.
Steven Stamkos scored a pair of goals for the second consecutive game and Dwayne Roloson made 27 saves to assist Tampa Bay to a league-record 10th consecutive win over Atlanta in a 3-2 shootout victory Thursday night.
After trailing 2-1 heading into the final 20 minutes, Stamkos made the most of a lucky bounce off the end boards and tied the game just 32 seconds into the last frame.
Dominic Moore finished the performance with the game-winning tally in the fourth round of the shootout, dekeing Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavalec to the forehand side before stopping abruptly and tucking the puck behind the net minder’s pad on the backhand.
“He’s a big guy in there and he usually gets down pretty low, so I had to do something to get him moving,” Moore said. “I knew I had to go in with some lateral movement. That was the idea from the beginning, and I guess you could say I got a little lucky.”
The victory was the Lightning’s second consecutive win in the shootout. Ryan Malone played the hero on Tuesday night in the team’s last game, a 3-2 win over Columbus at the St. Pete Times Forum.
After dropping the first two shootout contests of the season, Tampa Bay has gone on to win four straight in the tiebreaker. It also earned a win for the fourth time in as many attempts this season when trailing after the second period.
“I still think we have a ways to go,” Moore added. “The focus always has to be on what we can do to get better. We’ll take the good and the constructive criticism from every game and improve upon it.”
Niclas Bergfors and Anthony Stewart had goals for Atlanta, 1-3-2 in its last six games. Pavelec finished with 29 saves on the night.
Stewart regained Atlanta’s one-goal lead on the power play with the second period’s only goal at 14:12.
“We knew they were going to come out firing,” defenseman Brett Clark said. “This was like a playoff game, and you know they’re chasing us right now, but we have to get up for these games and stick to our game plan.”
Stamkos tied the contest for the second time with his 37th of the season just 32 seconds into the final period. He lifted a shot into the top right corner over Pavelec after the puck took a sharp rebound off the end boards and onto his stick.
After recording two goals against Columbus Tuesday night, Stamkos’ additional pair Thursday against Atlanta marked the first time all season the Lightning forward has recorded a multi-goal game in consecutive contests. He has 15 goals and 25 points in 17 games all-time versus Atlanta, his highest total against any opponent.
He made it 1-1 with just under three minutes remaining in the first after Bergfors opened scoring at 5:26 of the opening period.
Tampa Bay has won six of the last seven games against Southeast Division opponents.
“I think we got a little bit better as the game went on,” Moore said. “Rollie had to make some key saves just to keep us in.”
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