Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher didn't go with high-scoring Steven Stamkos or Martin St. Louis for the start of overtime. His choice of role players Nate Thompson and Dana Tyrell turned out to be the right move.
Thompson scored 19 seconds into the extra session to help the Lightning beat the New York Rangers 2-1 on Saturday night.
"We made it happen differently, but these are emotional buildup moments that are important in a season, especially when you have guys like Tyrell and Thompson making it happen," Boucher said.
Thompson scored from in-close off a pass from the left wing boards by Tyrell.
The Rangers forced overtime when Marian Gaborik tied it from the low slot with 45.6 seconds left in regulation.
"It gives you a boost of confidence to get that goal late in the game," Gaborik said.
Gaborik entered with just two goals in 10 games.
"It's important that he scored the goal, but we're going to need more out of him," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. Hopefully, that will help with his confidence. He's an important guy for us and we're going to need him as this gets tougher in the second half of the year."
Tampa Bay is 18-0-1 when ahead after two periods.
"It's tough whenever you give up a goal in the last minute like that," Thompson said. "But we just had to reload and refocus and remember there was still hockey left to play."
Tampa Bay rookie Cedrick Desjardins, recalled from Norfolk of the AHL on Dec. 20, made 34 saves to win his second consecutive start.
"I was just having fun finding every shot," Desjardins said. "I was in the zone."
His fun ended quickly, however.
After the game, the Lightning acquired 41-year old goalie Dwayne Roloson from the New York Islanders for minor league defenseman Ty Wishart. Boucher said the trade means Desjardins will be going back to Norfolk of the AHL.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots for the Rangers, 5-2-1 in their last eight games.
"A bounce here and there and we get the win," Lundqvist said. "They're a good team, no question. They have skilled guys up front. They played pretty solid defensively, as well."
Desjardins earned the win in his NHL debut on Thursday night, beating Montreal 4-1. The 25-year-old rookie allowed a goal 58 seconds into the game on the first shot he faced against the Canadiens, and then stopped 27 shots in that one.
Tyrell also scored for the Lightning, who have won eight of 10. Tampa Bay has won all three games against the Rangers this season.
Stamkos didn't record a point, and his four-game goal streak ended in his 200th NHL game. He has 105 goals and 197 points in his career.
Tyrell put the Lightning up 1-0 when he scored a rebound goal off his own shot during a 2-on-1 break at 13:03 of the first. It stopped his 14-game goal drought.
Desjardins stopped an in-close shot by Marc Staal during a 2-on-1 rush in the second. He also made a glove save on Brandon Prust's drive from the low left circle with 12:25 left in the third.
Lundqvist, 13-7-3 against the Lightning, made a pair of saves on backhanders by Ryan Malone during the second period.