The Tampa Bay Lightning were able to hold off a late charge by the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night and emerged with a 6-5 victory. Colorado started Peter Budaj in net to give Craig Anderson a breather, but it wasn’t Budaj’s best night. He faced 39 shots, but stopped only 33 (.846 save percentage). Dan Ellis wasn’t much better (.792 save percentage), but the Avalanche made only 24 shots on net.
The game started with a 1-1 tie at the end of the first, but Avalanche were outplayed for the most part of that period. The Lightning made it more evident in the second when they scored three goals. However, Matt Duchene scored the Avalanche’s second goal in between the second and third goals by the Bolts. Tomas Fleischmann and John-Michael Liles assisted on Duchene’s eighth goal of the season.
Though down 4-2 after the second period, the team wasn’t about to give up in the third period. Paul Stastny struck at 1:24 in the period to make it a 4-3 contest in favor of the Lightning. Ryan Malone and Sean Bergenheim then scored two more for the Lightning by the 16:00 minute mark.
When Colorado removed its goalie, Brandon Yip and Milan Hejduk scored goals almost within a minute of each other. Yip’s goal was the team’s one successful power play opportunity.
Avalanche rookie defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk finished with two assists. Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis finished with a goal and two assists.
The Colorado Avalanche are now 13-10-3, but 1-3-2 in their last six games, Before that, the team had been on a four-game winning streak. They stay in Florida to face the Panthers on Tuesday, Dec. 7.