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.
For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.
— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday