The Colorado Avalanche rallied to tie the score and force overtime with seven seconds left in regulation, but still lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a shootout on Saturday night.

Nathan MacKinnon played terrific in the game and registered two points – including the game-tying goal just before the third period buzzer.

Anton Stralman led the way for Tampa Bay with a goal and an assist while Ryan Callahan scored in regulation, fought Jarome Iginla, and registered the decisive goal in the shootout.

The Avalanche came out flat and allowed the Lightning to take a 15-5 shooting advantage in the first period.

Brad Stuart had a goal called off midway through the opening period because Iginla pushed a Lightning defenseman into Ben Bishop.

Callahan opened the scoring for Tampa Bay just under two minutes into the contest. Stralman took a stretch pass and fed the puck across the slot to Callahan for a quick shot that Semyon Varlamov couldn’t get to.

The Lightning assistant captain dropped the gloves with Iginla with 30 seconds left in the first period. It would prove to be a regretful decision for Callahan as Iginla was able to awaken his lethargic teammates with his effort in the bout.

Colorado came out of the first intermission with a newfound source of energy and controlled the tempo – leading in shots 37-15 from that point forward.

“[The Lightning] had a good pace, they were moving well,” coach Roy said. “I thought in the second we were more physical, we were finishing our checks and EJ had a few good ones that I thought slowed them down and we took it from there.”

Ryan O’Reilly evened the score just 51 seconds into the second stanza on a beautiful give-and-go passing play with Nathan MacKinnon. It was the Avalanche’s eighth goal in the first minute of a period this season.

Stralman gave the Lightning the lead back early in the third frame on a wrist shot from the point off of a faceoff in the offensive zone. Tampa Bay leads the NHL with 56 third period goals this season.

The Avalanche were unable to convert on two late power plays, but they sustained pressure in the closing minutes before MacKinnon tied the game in the closing seconds. Gabriel Landeskog corralled Erik Johnson’s rebound and slid it across the front of the crease to MacKinnon for a tap-in goal.

Nikita Kucherov and Callahan registered shootout goals on Varlamov by turning up the speed and blowing past him. Matt Duchene scored for the Avs, but Bishop turned away attempts by Alex Tanguay and Nathan MacKinnon to secure the win.

“Tonight we thought we deserved to win and we just came up one point short, but I thought it was entertaining – 40 some shots to 30 some,” coach Roy said. “It was two teams that certainly look forward to score goals. A 3-2 score certainly doesn’t reflect the game it was. It was a lot more open than a 3-2 game.”

The Avalanche conclude their five-game road trip with a matchup with old friend Paul Stastny and the St. Louis Blues on Monday.