Vincent Lecavalier scored in the final seconds of overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a dramatic 4-3 victory over the St Louis Blues on Sunday.
Lecavalier converted a backhand with seven seconds left in the extra session as the Lightning (33-16-5) maintained a three-point lead in the Southeast Division over the Washington Capitals.
A St Louis holding penalty set up Lecavalier’s power-play that ended a back-and-forth affair and sent the the Blues to their fifth loss in the last six games.
“Relentless. That’s how we played today,” Lecavalier told reporters.
Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-leading 40th goal in the first period to open the scoring and Patrik Berglund answered for St Louis 30 seconds into the second period, before Dominic Moore restored Tampa Bay’s lead about two minutes later.
David Backes and Nikita Nikitin netted back-to-back scores to give the Blues a 3-2 lead after 13 minutes, 9 seconds of the second, but Steve Downie’s goal 30 seconds later tied it at 3-3.
Both teams went scoreless in the third.
The Lightning controlled the action in overtime, outshooting the Blues 9-1.
Ty Conklin made 36 saves for St Louis in his second start for injured goaltender Jaroslav Halak, while Tampa Bay goalie Dan Ellis made 29 stops.
Stamkos had three assists on the day as the Lightning recovered from Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Capitals.
DEVILS 4, CANADIENS 1
In Montreal, Dainius Zubrus and Ilya Kovalchuk scored 2 minutes, 52 seconds apart early in the first as New Jersey downed Montreal.
Martin Brodeur got his 615th career win despite leaving after the first period because of a bruised right leg. Brodeur stopped all 11 shots he faced before he was replaced for the second by Johan Hedberg, who made 14 saves.
Kovalchuk was awarded his second goal of the game after 18 minutes, 39 seconds of the third when he was hooked on a shot at an empty net that hit the right post. Travis Zajac, who scored in the second, got his second assist of the game on the play.
P.K. Subban got his sixth goal 6 minutes, 32 seconds into the second, just after Zajac made it 3-0.
CAPITALS 3, PENGUINS 0
In Washington, Brooks Laich and Marcus Johansson scored as Washington won on Super Bowl Sunday for the eighth straight time.
The Capitals snapped the five-game winning streak of their dreaded rivals the Penguins, who are dealing with a likely season-ending knee injury to Evgeni Malkin and are awaiting Sidney Crosby’s return from concussion.
Pittsburgh were stifled by an improved Washington defense anchored by Michal Neuvirth, who made 22 saves in his first start since Jan. 18. Mike Knuble added an empty-net goal for the Capitals.