After a back and forth second period that featured eight combined goals, the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning staged a quiet and uneventful third period. But the Lightning got the last laugh in overtime, after Vincent Lecavalier ripped the net with only 54 seconds left to play to give Tampa the victory. The goal was Lecavalier's sixth of the season, and it came on assists from Martin St. Louis and Marc-Andre Bergeron.
For the Blackhawks, it's a disappointing end to a game in which they at one point had a two goal lead, however brief. That lead disappeared at the hands of Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos, who single-handedly erased Chicago's 4-2 lead by ending the second period with two straight goals. Stamkos had also started the scoring off with the game's opening goal in the that period, but not seven minutes later the Blackhawks were in possession of the aforementioned two goal lead.
The Blackhawks will undoubtedly look back at overtime in disgust, as they were unable to put even one shot on net in the sudden death frame. Patrick Sharp led the Blackhawks with two goals, and Marion Hossa added a goal for his team leading seventh of the season. Though Chicago will leave Tampa without even a point, they will remain in first place in the Central Division throughout the night. Tonight's game concluded Chicago's first swing through the South this season, and they return home to face the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Blackhawks be sure to check out Second City Hockey. Visit SB Nation NHL for more news and notes around the league.