The Tampa Bay Lightning blew a big lead, though not an opportunity to climb back into its playoff series with the New Jersey Devils.
The Lightning squandered a three-goal advantage Monday night, but Dave Andreychuk ended a third-period tie and lifted Tampa Bay to a 4-3 victory over the Devils in Game 3 of the second-round matchup.
Playing with the same sense of urgency that helped it overcome a two-game deficit in the first round, the Lightning now trails the Devils, 2-1, as it tries to rally in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“You don’t want to script it that way, but you find a way to get it done,” Tampa Bay Coach John Tortorella said. “It’s another lesson, something we battled through.... To come back in the third period, keep our patience and find a way, it’s something you can draw on when you get in those situations again.”
Andreychuk scored the game-winner with 13:52 left, taking advantage of the Devils being unable to complete a line change that left New Jersey with four forwards and only one defenseman in front of goaltender Martin Brodeur.
Coach Pat Burns screamed at the officials and pounded on the boards in front of his bench when defenseman Colin White was ordered off the ice.
“After all these years in the league, am I that stupid that I would put four forwards and one defenseman in a 3-3 tie in the third period? I think everybody who knows me here knows I’m not that stupid.... " Burns said.
“If we lose the game because they scored a couple of good goals, and they outplayed us, fine. But I just feel bad about losing the game like that.”
Nikolai Khabibulin rebounded from a shaky second period to make two key saves in the last two minutes with New Jersey trying to take advantage of a power play.