TAMPA, Fla. -- The difference of one win was vast for the Winnipeg Jets. The difference of one inch was equally so for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Mark Scheifele ended an inconsistent road trip with a flourish on Saturday at Tampa Bay Times Forum, scoring the game-winner one minute, four seconds into overtime as the Jets frustrated the Lightning 2-1.
Scheifele's third goal of the season came less than 20 seconds after the Lightning's Alex Killorn appeared to beat Jets goaltender Al Montoya on a breakaway -- but hit the left post with his shot. Montoya lost his stick on the play, but the Jets were able to clear the zone.
Winnipeg finished its road trip 4-2 and improved to 14-13-4. Tampa Bay fell to 17-10-2, leaving coach Jon Cooper frustrated not with the "game of inches" his team had just lost but with the lethargic effort that allowed Winnipeg to "turn a 60-minute game into a 30-minute game."
"It was a tale of two games," Cooper said, referring to the Lightning's improved energy after tying the score at the end of the second period. "I thought we had ample chances to win that game -- and one in overtime -- and obviously we didn't."
Montoya, who made 28 saves, said the extra win on the trip was extremely important.
"That's two huge points," he said. "It's a long flight. Going home with this on our shoulders sure feels good."
So did outdueling Anders Lindback, who stopped 34 shots but had little chance on Scheifele's front-side winner off Blake Wheeler's centering pass from the corner. Scheifele was able to pierce the defense of Sami Salo and Mark Barberio to tap in the winner.
Tampa Bay has lost three of four games.
"We weren't generating shots," said Lightning captain Martin St. Louis. "It took us a while to get our offense going, get some shots, but it's a 1-1 game going to overtime. I'll take that scenario anytime. We just didn't get it done."
Nate Thompson tied the game 1-1 with 1.2 seconds left in the second period. St. Louis started the sequence with a clean face-off win against Bryan Little, drawing the puck back to Radko Gudas, who zinged it back over the face-off dot to Thompson in front of the net.
With defenseman Grant Clitsome unable to react quickly enough, Thompson controlled the puck and snapped in his second goal of the season.
Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said he had not considered calling timeout to set his defense because he wasn't sure how the Lightning would set up anyway.
"All you have to do is cover people around the net," he said. "You've got three seconds."
Tampa Bay was lackluster for most of the game but began to exert pressure on Montoya in the last five minutes by utilizing its speed. Killorn had come closest with 2:20 left in the period but couldn't turn a long rebound into the goal.
Pace of play increased greatly early in the third period, favoring the Lightning, but by the final minutes both teams appeared most interested in scrounging a point with a tie.
Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead with 14:35 left in the first period off a deflection in the slot by Wheeler. The right wing scored his seventh of the season by beating defenseman Barberio to a spot in front of Lindback and redirected a shot from the point by Clitsome (seventh assist). Jacob Trouba picked up his fourth assist.
Coming off a 5-2 loss to woeful Florida, the Jets controlled play early, outshooting Tampa Bay 15-6 in the first period. Valtteri Filppula was denied with eight minutes left when his chip on a rush glanced off the top of Montoya's helmet.
NOTES: St. Louis extended his point streak against the Jets to six games and passed Jason Arnott on the NHL's all-time points list. He ranks 90th with 939 points. ... Tampa Bay plays four of the next five games on the road. ... The Lightning was without nine expected contributors after D Victor Hedman and D Keith Aulie were injured in a win on Thursday against Ottawa. Hedman, Tampa Bay's top defenseman (six goals, nine assists in 28 games) is expected to miss at least a week with a lower-body injury. Four of the missing Lightning -- Steven Stamkos (tibia), Tom Pyatt (collarbone), Ryan Malone (ankle) and Aulie (hand) -- have broken bones. ... The Lightning entered the game tied for the fewest home losses (three) among Eastern Conference teams. ... Winnipeg has a league-worst three power-play goals on the road. Its five short-handed goals allowed were tied for last in the league. ... Both teams started their backup goaltenders. ... Wheeler's first-period goal was the 100th of his career. ... The Lightning has failed to score on 10 consecutive power plays.