TAMPA, Fla. - 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 NHL debut on Friday night.
The Lightning pulled even at 4 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 Monday, one day after the team announced the firing of Guy Boucher. Cooper had been coaching Syracuse of the AHL, 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.
I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.
— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final