Skip to main content

Barry Melrose gets first win as Lightning coach in 3-2 victory over Thrashers

NHL.com @NHL

TAMPA, Fla. - Barry Melrose got his first win as Tampa Bay coach when Vincent Lecavalier scored a power-play goal with 3:19 left in overtime to lift the Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night.

Lecavalier scored from near the low slot off a pass from Martin St. Louis.

Melrose's first season with the Lightning started with five losses, including three in overtime or a shootout. It's also his first NHL win since 1995 when he was coaching the Los Angeles Kings.

Mark Recchi and Vinny Prospal also scored for Tampa Bay, which blew a two-goal lead in the third.

Colby Armstrong and Todd White each had a goal for Atlanta.

Armstrong cut the Lightning's advantage to 2-1 when redirected White's shot past goalie Mike Smith at 6:37 of the third.

White then tied it on a deflection with 35.5 seconds to go in regulation.

Recchi put the Lightning ahead 1-0 from the right circle at 7:18 of the first. It was his second goal this season and the 524th of his career.

Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen kept it close by stopping 17 of 18 shots during the first. Atlanta got just five shots over the stretch.

Tampa Bay went ahead 2-0 when Prospal scored with 6:50 left in the second. Lehtonen stopped the shot initially, but appeared to lose sight of the puck and accidentally knock it over the goal line.

Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, taken first overall in this year's amateur draft, is still looking for his first NHL point through six games.

Notes: The Lightning claimed LW Matt Pettinger off re-entry waivers from Vancouver. ... Atlanta LW Ilya Kovalchuk was held off the score sheet. He had eight goals and 12 points against the Lightning last season. ... Tampa Bay LW Gary Roberts played in 1,200th NHL game. ... St. Louis picked up his 300th career assist on Prospal's second-period goal.

View More