Lightning strike Wild
Steven Stamkos scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:04 remaining and Ben Bishop turned aside 25 shots as Tampa Bay edged visiting Minnesota for its fifth win in the last six games.
Tyler Johnson also tallied on the power play and Sami Salo’s empty-net goal sealed it with 17.2 seconds left as the Lightning improved to 3-1-0 on their seven-game homestand. Bishop faced only two shots in the third period while improving to 5-0-0.
Captain Mikko Koivu scored for the Wild, who dropped to 1-2-0 on their four-game road swing. Josh Harding saw his three-game win streak end after making 27 saves for Minnesota.
Tampa Bay recorded the lone goal of the first period on the power play as Johnson beat Harding from the right faceoff circle after a cross-ice feed from Valtteri Filppula at 14:02. Bishop stopped all 13 shots he faced in the second and Harding was perfect on seven, highlighted by a dazzling pad save on Stamkos after a 2-on-0 break.
Koivu tied it with his first goal of the season, sweeping home a cross-ice pass from Nino Niederreiter with 8:55 left in the third period. Stamkos took a stretch pass from Matt Carle along the right boards and broke in to roof a shot past Harding stick side and put Tampa Bay back in front 2-1 on a 4-on-4.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Lightning RW Brett Connolly made his season debut, replacing RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie in the lineup, and played 9:38. … Minnesota G Niklas Backstrom returned from a knee injury and dressed as the backup to Harding. … The Lightning have outscored their opponents 6-1 during the first period this season.