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game recap

Wild answer quickly to defeat Lightning, win fifth in row

Zuccarello scores in third period eight seconds after Killorn has tying goal

by Corey Long / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Zuccarello finishes Zucker's feed

MIN@TBL: Zuccarello wires in wrister from the slot

Mats Zuccarello receives a pass from Jason Zucker that he rips into the twine from the slot, giving the Wild a 5-4 lead in the 3rd period

  • 00:25 •

TAMPA -- The Minnesota Wild extended their winning streak to five and point streak to 11 with a 5-4 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Mats Zuccarello had the game-winning goal and two assists for the Wild (14-11-4), who are 10-2-4 since the start of November (8-0-3 since Nov. 14). Alex Stalock made 30 saves.

"He's putting them in right now," Wild forward Jason Zucker said of Zuccarello. "Obviously he's known to be a playmaker, but he's proving he can score goals."

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Lightning highlights]

 

Victor Hedman scored his 100th NHL goal for the Lightning (13-10-3), who are 1-3-1 in their past five games. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 16 saves.

"We need to find ways to win games and right now we are finding ways to lose them," Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. "It's not something our group is satisfied with at all, and we understand, we are looking at things and we are trying to improve here. We have to continue to battle and try to play close to a consistent 60-minute game."

Video: MIN@TBL: Zucker finishes gorgeous passing play

Zuccarello scored the tiebreaking goal eight seconds after Alex Killorn made it 4-4 at 4:00 of the third period. It was the second time the Wild scored on the first shift after giving up a tying goal.

"We had a couple of those today," Zuccarello said. "It was important, you know. They were coming hard and we managed to get it back from them. It was great."

Hedman, playing his 720th NHL game, tied it 3-3 at 18:47 of the second period. Victor Rask put the Wild back ahead 4-3 at 19:23.

"The pride we're taking in our [defensive] zone is unacceptable right now," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We've thrown some good games together of late here where we've played pretty well. But giving up goals like this, in this league, you've got no chance."

Erik Cernak gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 1:52 of the first period with his second goal of the season. Joel Eriksson Ek tied it 1-1 at 9:33 with his second, and Jason Zucker gave the Wild a 2-1 lead at 10:46 off a give-and-go with Eric Staal. Carson Soucy made it 3-1 at 11:14.

"We just did a good job of sticking with it and taking chances when we can," Soucy said. "They're a high-powered offense. We knew they were going to score ... and we took it upon ourselves to meet their push every time they kind of had one."

Mikhail Sergachev got Tampa Bay within 3-2 at 15:57.

"We had a pretty good start, then they scored those three goals and after that everything was harder," Cernak said. "We starting chasing those two goals, we tied it up and then made mistakes and they scored."

Video: MIN@TBL: Soucy banks goal in off defender's stick

 

They said it

"You haven't seen that with this team for a while, but I think it's the belief in them right at this point. Instead of saying, 'Oh, woe is me,' they're saying, 'Let's go, let's get these guys right away.' It doesn't work all the time. When you're winning and things are going good, it works. They've dug deep and [are] really playing for each other. When you do that, good things happen." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"The bottom line is, we have to get back to work. We do some good stuff in the games, too, but we still have to play good defensively. It's about how many we give up, not how many we score." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

 

Need to know

Hedman's 100th NHL goal came 10 years to the date of his first NHL goal (Dec. 5, 2009 against the New York Islanders). He has six goals this season. ... Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin had two assists to reach 100 in the NHL. ... Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov had an assist to give him 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in a seven-game point streak. ... Staal has 74 points (33 goals, 41 assists) in 74 games against Tampa Bay. ... Eriksson Ek scored his first goal in 18 games. ... Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was minus-3 and is minus-11 this season. He hasn't scored in the past six games. ... The Wild were without center Mikko Koivu (lower body) and defenseman Jared Spurgeon (upper body).

 

What's next

Wild: At Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Host the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

Video: Zuccarello notches three points in back-and-forth win

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