Steven Stamkos scored the winning goal to break a third-period tie on the night the Lightning celebrated him, leading Tampa Bay to its 10th straight home win, a 4-2 decision over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
With the game tied at 2 after two periods, Stamkos swept in the 505th goal of his career and his 24th of the season at 14:22. He has six goals in a four-game goal-scoring streak.
Nikita Kucherov, who assisted on Stamkos’ goal, later wound up with the puck after a scrum around Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and sent a half-ice empty-netter for the final margin.
Before puck drop, Tampa Bay honored Stamkos, who netted career goal No. 500 at the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 18. With his family on the ice with him, the franchise showered the two-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner with gifts and displayed video messages from the NHL’s other active 500-goal scorers, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby.
Corey Perry scored twice on deflections for Tampa Bay, and Ross Colton and Mikhail Sergachev had two assists apiece. Vasilevskiy made 33 saves for his 250th career victory.
Tampa Bay has not lost on home ice since a 4-2 defeat against the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 6. The Lightning are 18-4-1 at home.
Minnesota’s Joel Eriksson Ek had a goal and an assist and Kirill Kaprizov tallied. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots, but the Wild had their losing streak grow to three games, matching their worst skids of the season.
Early in the second while short-handed, the Lightning had a good chance after a turnover by Kaprizov in the neutral zone. Nicholas Paul shoveled a pass way ahead to Brandon Hagel, but Fleury sold out to get the puck in the high slot and knocked it away as he and Hagel met.
Eriksson Ek put the Wild up 1-0 at 3:43 while on the penalty kill of the second by outracing Lightning defenseman Sergachev and deking Vasilevskiy for his 17th tally. It was Minnesota’s eighth short-handed tally and ninth allowed by Tampa Bay.
Perry tied it at 9:44 of the middle period by clipping in Colton’s blast.
Kaprizov rifled in a rebound of Eriksson Ek’s shot for a power-play goal, his 27th tally of the season, two minutes later for the Wild’s second lead.
Perry duplicated his first goal on another shot by Colton at 18:05 of the second. His eighth goal knotted the game 2-2.