Conacher scores in overtime, Lightning beat Stars 5-4
DALLAS (AP) — Cory Conacher scored the game-winning goal in overtime for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Anthony Cirelli stole the show in his NHL debut.
With 41 seconds left in overtime, Conacher broke away from Dallas’ Jamie Benn and took a low shot that bounced off goalie Ben Bishop and went in to beat the Stars 5-4.
Cirelli had a goal and an assist in the three-goal second period of his NHL debut. The Lightning recalled the 20-year-old Cirelli from Syracuse of the AHL earlier Thursday as an emergency replacement for NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov.
“How excited can you be for him?” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “You’re always going to remember this one. For him to come out and have an impact in the game in such a positive way, it’s fun. He’s a phenomenal kid, and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Cirelli was very excited.
“It was an unbelievable feeling. Just being here and being able to play in the game. It was pretty cool just being around the guys. To get a goal too is just something special that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
It was the Lightning’s fourth game in six nights that went past 60 minutes. Tampa Bay was 3-0-1 in those games to increase their league-leading total to 92 points.
“The way we rebounded,” Cooper said, “especially to come back to back. We had to change time zones and fly a couple of hours. We had good energy early. The power plays hurt us in the first, but really liked our second period. We came out determined. We deserved to get those goals.”
Tyler Seguin had two goals and an assist for Dallas, which rallied with two third-period goals to move three points ahead in the race for the Western Conference’s first wild card.
“We played a very good hockey game and especially in the third period,” Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. This is gonna end up hopefully being a really valuable point.”
Mattias Janmark tied the game with four seconds left in regulation, when he lifted a shot from a scramble over fallen Tampa Bay goalie Louis Domingue.
Cooper’s appeal that Dallas interfered with Domingue was denied. There also was a question whether Janmark’s goal came before time expired. The scoreboard clock began malfunctioning with 39 seconds remaining. The clock read 9 seconds, but the video review helped Referee Ghislain Hebert determine that 3.5 seconds was correct.
Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning.
Dallas’ Brett Ritchie had a third-period goal.
Domingue made 31 saves to improve to 4-8. He is 3-1 vs. Dallas in his career.
Bishop stopped 20 shots.
Tampa Bay’s J.T. Miller had two assists.
Dallas tied the game at 1 on the game’s first power play. Seguin’s snap shot grazed the crossbar and went in at 11:05 of the first period.
Skating 4-on-4 in the second, John Klingberg skated low into the right circle and passed across. Seguin had the left side of the net empty.
The spotlight then shifted to Cirelli. He beat Klingberg to tie the game at 2-2. Four minutes later, Killorn poked in the rebound of Cedric Paquette’s shot that Bishop couldn’t handle. Cirelli also received an assist.
NOTES: Cirelli, a first-year pro, had 14 goals and 37 assists in 51 games for Syracuse. . The Lightning played without Kucherov and D Ryan McDonagh. Both have upper-body injuries. . Miller was in his second game with Tampa Bay after the Rangers traded him and McDonagh. . Seguin has scored in four straight games, with a power-play goal in the last two. He leads the Stars with 34 goals and 11 on the power play. . Jason Dickinson had his first assist in his 25th NHL game on Ritchie’s goal. He ended a career-high 22-game streak without a goal. . The Lightning will be home for 12 of the final 17 games. . The Stars will play 11 of their final 18 on the road.
Lightning: Begin a season-high eight-game homestand on Saturday against Philadelphia.
Stars: Play the fourth of five straight home games on Saturday vs. St. Louis.