ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Finishing a tiring stretch with four games in six nights, the Minnesota Wild twice faced a two-goal deficit in the first to the dangerous Tampa Bay Lightning.
Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau has learned a very important lesson about his team in the early part of this season, though. The Wild know they can come back from slow starts.
Mikael Granlund scored 3:43 into overtime and Minnesota beat Tampa Bay 5-4 on Saturday night.
Charlie Coyle, Marcus Foligno, Zach Parise and Jason Zucker all scored in regulation as the Wild rallied again in the third period. Minnesota has allowed the first goal in six straight games but is 4-1-1 in those contests.
“I’d much prefer to start out 2-0 and then increase it, but it’s also a really good thing when a team starts to believe it can come back,” Boudreau said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be with some teams that in the third period when they were down, they said, ‘OK, we know we can score goals.’ And they do.
“It’s not what you want to have to rely on all the time but it’s nice to know that you never give up and you never think you’re out of it.”
Alex Stalock made 27 saves for the Wild, who outshot the Lightning 11-4 in the third period.
Yanni Gourde and J.T. Miller each had a goal and assist for Tampa Bay, which lost in its first road game of the season.
Ryan Callahan scored his first of the season for the Lightning and Anton Stralman pushed the game into overtime with his first goal of the season with 4:58 left in the third after Minnesota took its first lead of the game.
“You’re playing well, you’re feeling good, we were pressing, pressing, pressing,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “We scored and then we probably got a little bit comfortable. It’s funny, when we went behind, the desperation kicked in and showed a lot about our resiliency just to get a point out of the game.”
Andrei Vasilekskiy made 29 saves for the Lightning, who had their three-game winning streak snapped as they played on the road after a season-opening, five-game homestand.
Tampa Bay got a quick start with goals from Callahan and Gourde within the first 10:50. Callahan was playing in his just his second game after recovering from an upper-body injury.
Coyle’s goal brought Minnesota within one, but Miller scored before the end of the first to re-establish the two-goal advantage. The Lightning outshot the Wild 16-9 in the first.
“This one stings,” Tampa Bay defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. “We had it going on all cylinders there in the first period and felt good about ourselves. We can’t let our foot off the gas pedal there against any team in this league, especially on the road. So, lesson learned.”
Foligno scored his first of the season for the only tally of the second period and Parise tied the game 10:45 into the third.
Zucker gave the Wild the lead as they pressured Vasilevskiy. But Stralman, on just the team’s third shot of the period, pushed Minnesota into overtime for the third time in five home games.
“I think we’re saving it in the first, as of right now,” Wild forward Jason Zucker said. “We need to try and fix that. As long as we’re getting the wins right now, I think we’re going to be happy with it.”
NOTES: Wild C Matt Hendricks missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. … Vasilevskiy had not allowed more than two goals in a game this season. … Stalock started for the second time this season in place of Devan Dubnyk, who made 33 saves in a win at Dallas the previous night. … Tampa Bay hasn’t won in Minnesota since April 2, 2011, losing seven games in a row. … The Wild were 0 for 2 on the power play. The Lightning have started the season 25 of 25 on the penalty kill. … Tampa Bay started a season-high, five-game road trip.
Lightning: Finish a back-to-back set at Chicago on Sunday.
Wild: Host Los Angeles on Thursday.
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