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Lightning 3 special team goals, end 4-game skid, top Flames


TAMPA, Fla. — Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat scored on the power play and Yanni Gourde added a short-handed goal as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 Saturday to snap a season-high four-game losing streak.

Alex Killorn scored his 24th goal of the season to help the Lightning win for the first time since an 11-game winning streak. Andrei Vasilevskiy ended a three-game losing streak with 18 saves.

“We knew coming into this game that we wanted to have a great effort and win that game,’’ Gourde said. “It felt really good to come out with the ‘W’ tonight.’’

The victory came soon after the Lightning announced team captain Steven Stamkos will undergo surgery for a core muscle injury and was expected to miss the rest of the regular season and potentially the first round of the playoffs. Tampa Bay is second in the Atlantic Division and the playoffs are scheduled to begin the week of April 6.

Andrew Mangiapane, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm scored for Calgary, which had a three-game point streak come to an end. David Rittich finished with 30 saves.

“Overall we didn’t play 60 good minutes to win a game against one of the best in the league,’’ Lindholm said. “We had some moments, a couple of minutes here and there, but it wasn’t good enough.’

Killorn made it 4-2, taking a feed from Blake Coleman to come in alone from the circles in and pull the puck to his backhand and tuck a shot inside the post at 14:57 of the second period.

“Coleman finds me and I just take it to the net and make a play,’’ Killorn said. “I think they were in the middle of a change so I got some open space there.’’

Tampa Bay opened the scoring as Johnson sat in the middle slot to tip Mikhail Sergachev's shot past Rittich at 13:52 for Tampa Bay’s first power play goal at home since Jan. 7 against Vancouver. The Lightning had just six power play goals since Jan. 2 before Saturday.

“We emphasized that we wanted to keep things a little bit more simple and shoot the puck and that's really all it was,’’ Johnson said. “Sometimes it's not always the prettiest of plays that are the most effective.’’

Palat scored Tampa Bay’s second power play goal of the game at 7:05 of the second period, settling a pass from Kucherov in the right circle before getting off a wrist shot that deflected off defenceman Derek Forbort for a 2-0 lead.

Gourde made it 3-0 with a shorthanded goal, his second of the season and fifth of his career, with a shot from the right circle at 11:50. The goal came 54 seconds after Barclay Goodrow was turned aside on a shorthanded breakaway.

The Flames answered with two goals 52 seconds apart to pull to within one.

Mangiapane raced in down the left wing side and fired a slap shot that went through Vasilevsiy on the short side at 13:12. Lindholm followed that up with a slap shot from the top of the right circle that grazed the stick of Palat and beat Vasilevskiy.

Monahan scored on the power play with 2:49 left for the Flames.

“We had stretches of puck in their zone, but not nearly enough,’’ Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk said. “We’ve just got to put this one aside right now because we’ve got a back-to-back. I don’t think any of us are happy with our game today but the good thing is we’re going to come back tomorrow and we’ll be desperate to get two points.’’

NOTES: Lightning RW Pat Maroon returned after missing Thursday’s game with an undisclosed injury. … Calgary allowed its ninth shorthanded goal of the season. … Lightning LW Blake Coleman, who missed Thursday’s game after his wife gave birth to a baby girl, picked up his first point with Tampa Bay since being traded from New Jersey on Feb. 16. … Flames C Mikael Backlund extended his scoring streak to six games.


Flames: At Florida on Sunday.

Lightning: Host Boston on Tuesday.

Erik Erlendsson, The Associated Press

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