This was a well-earned road point against the top team in the Western Conference. It was a high-tempo contest between two engaged teams, one that was, for the most part, evenly played. In the end, it came down to the "skills competition" (aka, the shootout) and Mikko Koivu scored the only goal with a sensational backhand move.
While the game was fairly even, the Wild did generate more scoring chances than the Lightning and ended up outshooting the Lightning, 38-27. (The Lightning actually had more shot attempts than the Wild, but 36 of those were either blocked or missed the net). Fortunately for the Bolts, Andrei Vasilevksiy was on his game. He made a number of terrific stops on Grade-A Minnesota looks, including a handful in the closing minutes of regulation to preserve the 1-1 tie.
The Lightning might have been able to score more than one goal, but they missed the net on several good looks during the first period (which was the frame in which they had the most open ice with which to work). Even though Minnesota tightened up its game after the first, the Lightning's best overall period was the third. Up until the last few minutes, the Bolts won a lot of puck battles and had some long, sustained offensive zone shifts. Goalie Devan Dubnyk was sharp in making 10 third period saves.
Ultimately for the Lightning, the biggest play in the game was Brayden Point's tying goal late in the second. It was a perfect tip of Jason Garrison's point shot and it helped the Lightning earn the one point they got out of this contest.
Given their position in the standings, the Lightning would have really liked to have picked up the second point. But they were decisively outplayed in overtime and couldn't beat Dubnyk in the shootout. So they have to settle for one. This one point will look a lot better if they can follow it up on Saturday with a victory against Winnipeg.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game (as selected by Brian Engblom):
Point's tying goal.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Brian Engblom):
- Jonathan Drouin - Lightning. Dangerous with the puck all night.
- Andrei Vasilevskiy - Lightning. 37 saves.
- Devan Dubnyk - Wild. 26 saves.