TAMPA, Fla. -- Steven Stamkos scored the go-ahead goal with 5:04 remaining the third period to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
Stamkos' fifth goal of the season came off of a beautiful cross-ice pass from defenseman Matthew Carle. Stamkos took the pass off the boards and skated behind the Wild's defense to set up the breakaway opportunity. His wrist shot went above the glove of Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding.
Minnesota (3-3-2) had tied the score a few minutes earlier when Mikko Koivu went top shelf over Lightning goalie Ben Bishop on a feed from Nino Niederreiter.
Tampa Bay (5-2-0) won its fifth game in six tries and needed a strong effort from Bishop to get it done. The Wild began to turn up the offensive pressure in the second period, but Bishop turned away point-blank efforts from Koivu, Marco Scandella and Zach Parise among his 29 saves.
Later in the second period, Bishop denied Jason Pominville on a uncontested shot in front of the net.
The Lightning scored the game's first goal behind its strong power play as Tyler Johnson took a pass in the slot from Valterri Filppula and blasted a one-timer past Harding.
Outside of the clinching goal, it was a fairly quiet game for Stamkos, although he and Alex Killorn were turned away by Harding on a two-on-zero breakaway late in the second period.
Sami Salo was credited with an empty-net goal in the final seconds of the third period.
NOTES: Lightning RW Martin St. Louis was questionable going into the game but suited up and played his full allotment of shifts. Earlier reports had the team captain as a likely scratch because of a lower body injury. ... Minnesota G Niklas Backstrom was dressed but sat out his fifth consecutive game after suffering a knee strain against Nashville on Oct. 8. ... Going into the game, the Wild was 5-1-1 in its last seven meetings with the Lightning. ... The Lightning recalled RW Brett Connolly from AHL Syracuse on Wednesday. Connolly, the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft, was penalized for high sticking in the first period.
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- Tampa Bay Lightning
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- Steven Stamkos
- Josh Harding
- Ben Bishop
- the Wild