An inspired late comeback may be getting rare these days at St. Pete Times Forum, but Lightning last night recorded their first home win against the Dallas Stars since 1996, despite trailing half-way into the final period.
Vincent Lecavalier once again got the Lightning’s game in motion, scoring a fantastic shorthanded effort after Martin St. Louis found him all alone by his own blue line. The goal just 1:33 into the first period and was another fantastic finish on the breakaway for Lecavalier.
The Lead didn’t last long, and it was Lecavalier’s best friend and former Bolt Brad Richards who converted the Power play with a close range effort. Richards looked delighted to have put a goal past the Lightning, whom he was facing for the first time since being traded away.
The second period brought another point for Richards, combining with Mike Modano to assist Loui Eriksson’s go-ahead goal four minutes into the second period to silence the Tampa crowd.
The Lightning, in a poor patch of form and struggling for goals, waited until there was just nine minutes on the clock to finally click. Former Star Jussi Jokinen assisted Steven Stamkos to slam a shot into the roof of the net from close-range.
Two minutes later, and the Lightning were given the golden opportunity they needed when Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen took a two-minute penalty for Holding.
When Lecavalier converted the Power-play with just five minutes on the clock it looked as though Lightning’s woes at home to Dallas Stars were finally coming to an end.
When St. Louis and Lecavalier set-up Vaclav Prospal to flip home an empty netter in the final minute the result was confirmed, and Lightning goalie Mike Smith celebrated a victory over his former team.