Having recorded the game-deciding goal in four of the team’s past five shootout victories, Dominic Moore is no stranger to late-game heroics.
On Tuesday night, Moore proved that again, although this time in regulation.
Moore snapped a 3-3 tie at 16:15 of the final period, and Steven Stamkos added an empty-net goal for insurance to snap a seven-game losing streak and lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins in front of a sellout crowd of 19,204 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
“I thought there have been games where we deserved better,” Moore said. “But at the same time, we’ve got to earn our breaks every night. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction. Tomorrow’s a new day, so we’ll see what happens.”
Moore snapped an 11-game goal drought by ripping a slap shot from above the left circle that beat Tim Thomas to the top far post to give the Lightning a 4-3 lead with 3:45 left in regulation.
The goal was the Lightning forward’s first game-winner that didn’t come in a shootout since Mar. 26, 2011.
The defeat marked the Bruins’ third in eight games since opening up the New Year with a 6-1 win over New Jersey on Jan. 4.
Boston saw itself erase three one-goal deficits, and while never getting ahead, came right back and tied the game twice in the second period and once more in the third.
Nathan Horton scored twice and Daniel Paille added a shorthanded tally for Boston, while Thomas stopped 26 of 30 shots on the night.
The Bruins fell for the second time in three games after coming off a 3-2 shootout win in Florida against the Panthers just the night before.
“It’s not a confidence thing,” Boston head coach Claude Julien said of his team’s recent struggles. “It’s a compete-level thing. When we don’t compete, we’re no better than any other team in the league.”
Tampa Bay overcame its recent issue of slow starts by coming out with a lot of intensity in the first period, when it outshot the defending Stanley Cup champs 11-6. Boston saw more of its scoring chances come in the next two periods and evened out the shot differential, topping the Lightning in that department for the final 40 minutes.
“When the puck dropped, we had emotion,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “I find that at the beginning of periods or at the end of periods, we get scared and get off and lose confidence. I didn’t even care about the score. I wanted to fight. When the puck drops, we’re going to fight.”
Lecavalier grabbed Tampa Bay a quick 1-0 lead after gathering a rebound in the slot and slipping one past Thomas at 7:11.
Horton then pulled the Bruins even at 4:28 of the second when he backhanded a loose puck from the side of the net past Garon to tie it at one.
Horton has 24 goals and 44 points in 44 career games against Tampa Bay.
Thomas stopped Downie 14 minutes into the second, but couldn’t control the rebound, as Pyatt poked it home from his knees to put Tampa Bay up 2-1.
The Boston net minder would go on to finish the second period with a tremendous save on a one-timer chance by Teddy Purcell, helping keep the game tied at two after Horton’s second of the night tied it at 16:48.
The teams exchanged goals in a span of 5:55 in the third to keep the game even late.
First, Malone gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead after tapping one in from in-close at 4:58. Paille then made it 3-3 nearly six minutes later after scoring on a shorthanded breakaway.
The play unfolded when Vincent Lecavalier sent a pass from the end boards over to Martin St. Louis, who was parked at the blue line. St. Louis attempted to whack at the pass to settle it down and keep the play in, but instead missed, leaving Paille all alone one-on-one against Garon.
Paille has two of Boston's six short-handed goals this season. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has given up seven goals to its opponents while on the power play.
Stamkos’ goal at19:39 was his league-leading 31st of the season. He now has points in five straight games, including three goals and as many assists in that span.
Moore put Tampa Bay ahead for good just 3:24 earlier to seal the victory.
“We played a good team,” Stamkos said. “From the beginning, the game plan was to come out hard and come play physical. To do that for pretty much the whole 60 minutes, that’s the result we get against a really good hockey team.”
tampabaylightning.com is the official Web site of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay Lightning and tampabaylightning.com are trademarks of Lightning Hockey L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Lightning Hockey, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.