Jim Slater scored with 8.1 seconds left to lift Atlanta to a 2-1 win over the Lightning on Tuesday night, the Thrashers’ fourth straight victory. The Thrashers had lost four of five to the Lightning this season, including an 8-0 blowout in their previous meeting on Dec.7. Slater’s second goal of the season was reviewed for several minutes by officials because of a potential high stick. “Funny goals happen. I was lucky to get a stick on it,” Slater said.
His redirection beat goalie Johan Holmqvist, who appeared to be screened. Bobby Holik and Shane Hnidy got assists on the goal, which ended the Lightning’s three-game winning streak.
“Slates told me it was good. Usually, the guy that scores the goal has a pretty good idea,” Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said.
Slater knocked Holik’s long shot past Holmqvist for the winner.
“From my view, it looked like a high stick,” Holmqvist said. “It was a tough goal, especially with just eight seconds left. I thought right away it was a high stick.”
The Thrashers will take it, especially after being outscored 19-8 by the Lightning before Tuesday night. The teams have two meetings remaining this season.
“It was a solid win for us. We took a hard one on the chin in Tampa,” Slater said.
Martin St. Louis scored Tampa Bay’s only goal in the first period. Atlanta tied it in the second on a goal by Vyacheslav Kozlov.
“It’s very tough. Not only did we need a win, but we let them get a win,” Tampa Bay centre Tim Taylor said. “We take one step forward and one step back.”
The Lightning (17-18-2) took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal by St. Louis, his 24th. He beat goalie Kari Lehtonen from in close at 15:34, and Vincent Lecavalier got an assist. Tampa Bay has five short-handed goals, three by St. Louis.
The Thrashers tied it in the second on a 30-foot shot by Kozlov, his 14th goal. Marian Hossa and Jason Krog assisted.
Notes: Tampa Bay didn’t have a shot on goal in the first period until 12 minutes had gone by, but wound up with seven in the period, the same as Atlanta. … The Thrashers had a two-man advantage for 52 seconds early in the first period, but failed to capitalize. … Lecavalier had three goals and three assists in his previous three games. … Kozlov played in his team-record 137th consecutive game. … St. Louis had a goal and four assists in the 8-0 win over Atlanta.