Tampa Bay lost to Winnipeg 4-3 Tuesday night, but not before a fantastic showing of grit and fight; battling back from a 3-1 deficit and forcing their division rival Jets into a shootout at the MTS Centre.
The hosts opened the scoring 1:23 after the initial puck was dropped when Eric Brewer lost the puck outside the offensive blue line, ultimately leading to Andrew Ladd shooting a wrister that went through the legs of Ben Bishop.
After several quiet minutes, Martin St. Louis fired one from the circle that finds its way past Ondrej Pavelec to knot the game at one-apiece midway through the first period.
The game would stay knotted 1-1 through the remainer of the opening period and 8:37 of the second until Blake Wheeler skated through the slot, and pulled Bishop wide before hesitating & wristing one high in the corner of the net put the Jets up by one.
Winnipeg almost added another goal shortly thereafter, but officials waved it off after determining Ladd was in the crease and made contact with Bishop before the shot got off. The Jets and Ladd would make up for it with 2:06 left in the middle stanza after the Winnipeg captain's shot redirected off of Keith Aulie, then ricocheted off of Bishops skate and trickled across the line.
5:09 into the third period, Pierre-Cedric Labrie cashed in on a rebound that went off Dustin Byfuglien to lessen the Jets' lead to 3-2.
Six minutes later, Steven Stamkos tied it up with his 27th goal of the lockout-shortened season.
The Lightning fought hard through the remainder of regulation, but couldn't get the puck past Pavelec and forced Winnipeg into free hockey.
After a scoreless four-on-four five minutes of sudden death, the Jets defeated Tampa Bay in the shootout with Mike Santorelli and Ladd making two-of-three shots. Both Lightning shooters, Teddy Purcell and Richard Panik, failed to net the puck.
The Lightning are now 2-7 in the month of April, but will look to finish strong on their final Canadian road trip of the season when they take on Montreal Thursday night.
Pre-game coverage begins at 7:00 on sister station 970 WFLA.