Sun, Mar 31, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Lightning give coach a debut win

AP, TAMPA, Florida

Alex Killorn scored with 15.1 seconds left in the third period and Tampa Bay won 5-4 in a shootout over the New Jersey Devils to give new Lightning coach Jon Cooper a victory in his National Hockey League debut on Friday night.

The Lightning pulled even at four when Killorn scored from the right circle. Teddy Purcell and Victor Hedman scored for Tampa Bay in the shootout.

Cooper was hired as the eighth coach in Lightning history on Monday, one day after the team announced the firing of Guy Boucher. Cooper had been coaching Syracuse of the American Hockey League, Tampa Bay’s top minor league team.

Steven Stamkos scored his 24th and 25th goals this season, and added an assist for the Lightning. Nate Thompson had the other Tampa Bay goal.

The Devils got goals from Andrei Loktionov, Tom Kostopoulos, Andy Greene and Ryan Carter.

After blowing a two-goal lead, Greene’s power-play goal put the Devils up 3-2 with 6:02 left in the second. Carter’s short-handed goal made it 4-2 at 2:39 of the third.

Stamkos cut the Lightning deficit to 4-3 on his second goal of the game at 7:11 of the third.

The Devils took a 2-0 lead in the second when Loktionov (5:50) and Kostopoulos (6:41) scored 51 seconds apart.

Kostopoulos stopped a personal 30-game goal drought, dating back to Feb. 25 last year against Philadelphia — when he beat Mathieu Garon on a penalty shot.

The Lightning tied it 2-2 midway through the second on goals by Stamkos (eight minutes) and Thompson (10:26).

At Chicago, Sheldon Souray scored the winning goal with 2:08 left and Jonas Hiller made 25 saves, while the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 to end a four-game losing streak.

In other games on Friday, Vinny Prospal had the go-ahead goal and an assist in a four-goal second period to help the Columbus Blue Jackets beat Calgary 6-4, while Jamie Benn, Ray Whitney and Cody Eakin each had a goal and an assist to help lead the Dallas Stars to a 5-3 victory to end the Minnesota Wild’s seven-game winning streak.

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