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Lightning makes stunning comeback to beat Nashville

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Time was running out on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Another half-minute, and the team’s third straight loss would be completed.

Then, with 27 seconds left to play, Steven Stamkos scored to snap a personal slump.

Then, 64 seconds into overtime, Tyler Johnson scored again.

Just like that, the Lightning won in a remarkable comeback, 4-3 over the Nashville Predators. It was the team’s ninth straight win on home ice.

Stamkos drew a slashing penalty late, setting up three straight shots. The first hit the crossbar, the second was saved, but the third went into the net.

“Yeah there was some extra umph on those shots with some frustration, and it worked out,” Stamkos said. “Obviously, it’s nice to come up and score a big goal for the team. It has been a tough go lately offensively, but like I have been saying, I’m just sticking with it and trying to do things well in other areas. You want to still feel like you’re contributing to the team’s success, and tonight it was nice to do it on the score sheet.”

The Lightning had suffered back-to-back losses on a two-game swing through Canada, however, giving up nine goals in losses to Ottawa and Montreal.

“There have been plenty of times this year that we thought we played better than what the score sheet was showing, and tonight I thought we could have played better but like you said, good teams find a way to win,” said Johnson. “We were able to get one at the end there. Stammer had a huge goal to tie things up, and we were able to get the two points so that’s all that matters.”

J.T. Brown and Nikita Kucherov also scored for Tampa, which is now 6-1 in overtime. For Brown, it was his fourth goal in the last seven games.

Tampa Bay led 2-1 going into the third period, but Nashville rallied for the lead on goals by James Neal and Filip Forsberg.

The Lightning is home against St. Louis Sunday night at 6 p.m.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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