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Bolts battle back twice but fall to Wild, 5-4

Twice Tampa Bay tied the game only to have Minnesota answer back almost immediately

by Jacob Lynn / TampaBayLightning.com

Every time the Lightning fought get back into Thursday's game, the Wild had an answer.

Twice Tampa Bay scored to tie the game only to have the Wild answer back within seconds on both occasions and retake the lead. The Bolts would never get the third equalizer as they fell 5-4 at Amalie Arena on Thursday night.

The Lightning struck first less than two minutes into the game. Brayden Point found a trailing Erik Cernak who fired a shot past Alex Stalock to put the Bolts up by one early.

Minnesota answered with three goals in the span of 1:41.

Joel Eriksson Ek tied the game at one after Jordan Greenway found him open in the slot with a feed from below the goal line. Jason Zucker and Carson Soucy then scored goals 28 seconds apart to open a 3-1 lead for the visitors midway through the first period.

The Bolts pulled back within one late in the period on a goal from Mikhail Sergachev. Skating the length of the ice, Sergachev made a power move to the short side and slipped the puck between Stalock and the near post to make it 3-2 through 20 minutes.

Tampa Bay had the majority of the possession in the second period and were finally rewarded with just over a minute to play. On a power play, Victor Hedman scored on a shot from the point to tie the game at three. The goal was the 100th of Hedman's career.

Tampa Bay couldn't keep it tied for long, however, as Minnesota grabbed the lead right back just 36 seconds later with Victor Rask cashing in off a big bounce off the boards behind Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The same fate would strike the Bolts in the third period.

Four minutes into the period, Alex Killorn scored to tie the game at four but Mats Zuccarello answered eight seconds later with a goal off the ensuing faceoff to put Minnesota back up 5-4. Zuccarello's goal would go on to be the game-winner.

With his assist on Hedman's second period goal, Nikita Kucherov extended his season-long point streak to seven games.

Tampa Bay opened up the offense on Thursday at the expense of its defensive coverage. The Bolts ended up with a 34-21 advantage in shots on goal but gave away far too many dangerous scoring chances to Minnesota.

The Lightning continue the homestand on Saturday night against the Sharks,

Scoring Summary
1st Period
TBL | 1:52 Erik Cernak (2) - Brayden Point, Andrei Vasilevskiy
MIN | 9:33 Joel Eriksson Ek (2) - Jordan Greenway, Ryan Suter
MIN | 10:46 Jason Zucker (11) - Eric Staal, Mats Zuccarello
MIN | 11:14 Carson Soucy (3) - Mats Zuccarello, Jonas Brodin
TBL | 15:57 Mikhail Sergachev (4) - Kevin Shattenkirk, Cedric Paquette

2nd Period
TBL | 18:47 Victor Hedman (6) - Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn - PPG
MIN | 19:23 Victor Rask (3) - Kevin Fiala, Carson Soucy

3rd Period
TBL | 4:00 Alex Killorn (7) - Erik Cernak
MIN | 4:08 Mats Zuccarello (6) - Jason Zucker, Jonas Brodin  

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