Gourde's overtime winner leads Lightning past Predators, 4-3
By JIM DIAMOND
Jan. 24, 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Down a goal late in the third period in the second game of a back-to-back, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to captain Steven Stamkos and he got the tying score. Yanni Gourde then came through in overtime.
Gourde scored 1:45 into the extra period to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
Chris Kunitz had a goal and two assists, and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored as the Lightning won their second straight. Louis Domingue stopped 30 shots.
"It was all about our compete," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "It was about nothing else but our compete. They are a hell of a team over there. They just keep coming at you."
Stamkos tied the score 3-3 on a one-timer from the left circle with 2:12 remaining in regulation after Slater Koekkoek faked a shot and sent a pass to the Lightning captain.
"I was just shooting the puck short side as hard as I could there," Stamkos said. "It was a great play by (Kunitz) to get it to (Koekkoek) and he kind of faked it and slid it over. It definitely came off the stick really nice. It was good to see us get rewarded."
In the overtime, Gourde stripped the puck from Viktor Arvidsson in the low slot and passed to Namestnikov, who found Gourde at the back door for an easy tap-in winner behind Predators goalie Juuse Saros.
With back-to-back wins in Chicago and Nashville, the Lightning are now 10-1-0 against the tough Central Division this season.
Arvidsson, Ryan Ellis and P.K. Subban scored for Nashville, which saw its five-game winning streak snapped. Saros finished with 27 saves.
The Predators earned nine of 10 possible standings points as they completed a five-game homestand.
The teams combined for four goals in a span of 4:24 midway through the first period.
Kunitz scored the game's first goal at 6:24 of the opening period set up by an atrocious defensive zone turnover by Arvidsson.
"He's a big part of what we do here, and like you said he factored into it," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said of Arvidsson. "There's things we all could have done better defensively tonight. There were just some mistakes that we made and you have to learn from it and move on. But, he's a big part of what we do."
Ellis answered 1:04 later on the power play, when he hammered home a one-timer from the high slot off of a pass from Roman Josi.
"I think it was full-throttle throughout the entire game," Ellis said. "They were coming at us getting chances. We were going at them getting chances. At different times in the game, we played better. At different times in the game, they played better. At the end of the day, I think that's natural for two really good hockey teams."
Arvidsson put Nashville ahead 2-1 at 9:11 of the first. It took some time for Arvidsson to get credit for the goal though. His shot hit Domingue's stick and came back into play. Calle Jarnkrok appeared to score 22 seconds later for Nashville, but a short video review determined that the puck completely crossed the goal line on Arvidsson's shot and he was credited with the goal. The clock was reset to the time of Arvidsson's shot, and Jarnkrok's goal disappeared.
"Honestly, that's one of the toughest first periods I've ever been a part of," Domingue said. "They were coming, but we blocked shots and sometimes they made plays on the back door and I was diving. It was an amazing effort."
Namestnikov tied it at 2 at 10:48 of the first. Stamkos carried the puck into the Nashville zone on the right side and slid a pass to Namestnikov all alone in the low slot, where he had an easy tap-in past Saros for his 16th goal of the season.
The teams went nearly the entire second period without a goal, but Subban's tally with 48.2 seconds remaining gave Nashville a 3-2 lead. Subban beat Domingue with a slap shot from above the left faceoff circle. Tampa Bay challenged the goal, thinking that Arvidsson impeded Domingue's ability to stop the shot, but officials upheld the goal.
NOTES: Former Predators forward and Hockey Hall of Famer Paul Kariya attended the game and dropped the puck for a ceremonial faceoff. ... Nashville had defeated the Lightning six consecutive times at home. ... Tampa Bay is 3-4-1 in the second half of back-to-back games this season. ... Stamkos has scored in three consecutive games played against Nashville.
Lightning: At Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Predators: At New Jersey on Thursday night.