Backstrom's 37 saves lead Wild past Lightning
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:08 AM
brought a four-game goal streak into Sunday's action, but Niklas Backstrom
wasn't about to help him extend it.
Backstrom made 37 saves and Cal Clutterbuck
and Antti Miettinen scored on the power play during a three-goal first period as the Minnesota Wild
beat the Tampa Bay Lightning
4-1 at the St. Pete Times Forum.
"It's easier when you get a good start," Backstrom said. "You can play your own game. You don't have to take too many chances."
Martin St. Louis
scored for the Lightning, who have lost three in a row and six of seven. Stamkos had an assist, but his four-game goal streak came to an end. He had four shots on goal.
Stamkos, who has 15 goals and 13 points, has a point in 15 of 17 games this season. His team, however, has 13 goals over its last seven games.
"Again, one of those games where we double the shots of the other team and can't get a goal," Stamkos said.
John Madden and Eric Nystrom
also scored for the Wild, and Martin Havlat had three assists, giving him 13 assists and 22 points in 18 games against Tampa Bay.
Clutterbuck opened the scoring on a fluky power-play goal at 7:16 of the first. His shot from the left circle hit the end boards and rebounded into the crease, where the puck went off the back goalie Dan Ellis' left leg and into the net.
St. Louis tied it at 1 during a power play at 11:31 of the first.
Less than a half-minute after St. Louis skated in alone and had his left circle shot stopped by Backstrom, Madden made it 2-1 from in-close with 7:05 left in the first.
"We had 34 shots in Atlanta (Thursday) and we got one goal, so tonight we capitalized on our chances," Madden said. "As long as we get two points, I'm not really concerned about how many shots be get. I'll take quality over quantity any day."
Minnesota, which entered with the NHL’s second-best power play, converted its second man-advantage during the first and took a 3-1 lead when Miettinen scored with 29.4 seconds to go.
Tampa Bay entered with the league’s second-leading penalty-killing unit and had given just two power-plays goals in 27 opportunities at home this season entering the game.
The Lightning outshot Minnesota 16-6 in the first, and 38-18 overall.
Nystrom scored an empty-net goal with 48.8 second left in the third. The goal stopped a 23-game goal drought, dating to March 25.
"We're in a cloud right now," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "The opportunities are there. We'll get through it."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.