Tampa Bay Sports Day

NHL: Flames Get Road Victory at Tampa Bay, 3-2

TAMPA, Fla. — Down a goal early, the Calgary Flames got two goals in 81 seconds in the second period, then held on a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night at Amalie Arena.

“That’s a big road win. They’re a good hockey team that’s playing really well right now,” said Calgary center Matthew Tkachuck. “We played the right way, scored a couple of big goals in the second and the power play in the third. (goalie Brian Elliott) was there to make big saves when we needed it. It was a great team effort against a fast team. We’ll take the two points and move on.”

Tampa Bay got a power-play goal from Nikita Kucherov — his team-best 23rd of the season — to pull within a goal with 1:13 left, but the Lightning couldn’t get the tying goal in the final minute after pulling their goalie.

The Flames scored their first two goals in a span of 81 seconds early in the second period, but got much-needed separation late in the third with a power-play goal by Dougie Hamilton — his 10th of the season, after getting assists on each of the first two goals — with 2:58 remaining in the game after the Lightning were called for a tripping penalty.

Calgary (31-26-4) got strong play from goalie Brian Elliott, who needed only 23 saves — but three in the final minute — to close out the win. The Flames defense stepped up, two nights after giving up five goals but still pulling off a win in overtime at Nashville.

“I think everybody had the same game plan and played it to a T,” Elliott said. “We got down 1-0 off a tip from the point, but the guys didn’t really get too low and we battled back, scored a big goal and a couple unanswered. Sometimes it comes together and the guys are clicking a little bit, and it showed tonight.”

Tampa Bay (27-25-8), which took its first regulation loss in eight games, had a chance to pull within two points of the final wild card in the Eastern Conference, playing two-plus periods of good defensive hockey sandwiched around a two-minute lapse.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is now 0-2-3 in his last five starts, juxtaposed against five straight wins for Ben Bishop, who could be dealt at the trade deadline.

“Give them credit for the way they played … but pin that game on us,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “If I thought there was a game we weren’t going to have any energy for, I thought it was going to be the Edmonton game (Tuesday). I did not think tonight was going to be the game. That was a little unfortunate. It happens.”