NEWARK, N.J. — Tyler Johnson scored 1:16 into overtime and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied to beat the New Jersey Devils 7-6 on Wednesday night, avoiding their first three-game losing streak since late March 2018.
Ondrej Palat scored twice for the banged-up Lightning, who surrendered a tying goal to Kyle Palmieri in the waning seconds. Alex Killorn, Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli and Mathieu Joseph also scored, and Curtis McElhiney made 36 saves.
Palmieri scored three goals and Jesper Bratt had two for the Devils. Sami Vatanen scored early in the third period for a 5-3 lead and Cory Schneider had 16 saves.
Johnson’s fourth of the season came from the inside of the right circle.
It looked as if Tampa Bay was headed for a win in regulation when Palat broke a 5-all tie on a turnaround shot from the right circle with 3:57 left.
But Palmieri forced overtime by scoring on a rebound with 7.4 seconds to play. It was his first hat trick with New Jersey and the second of his career.
Palmieri, Bratt and Vatanen scored three straight goals to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead in the opening minute of the third period.
Playing their second game in as many nights, the Lightning found a way to tie the game at 5. Cirelli deflected a shot by defenceman Jan Rutta past Schneider at 2:45. Joseph tied it at 7:45 when his centring pass deflected into the net off the skate and stick of Devils forward Taylor Hall.
The Lightning played without F Pat Maroon, who got hurt during Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers. … Tampa Bay called up Fs Cory Conacher and Alexander Volkov and D Luke Schenn from the minors earlier in the day. Only Conacher was not in the lineup. Volkov, a 2017 draft choice, made his NHL debut. … Bratt was a healthy scratch in the Devils’ last game, Friday night against Arizona. … Palmieri’s other hat trick was with Anaheim.
Lightning: Finish three-game New York-metropolitan area swing at Islanders on Friday.
Devils: Host Flyers on Friday, ending six-game homestand.
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Tom Canavan, The Associated Press