TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—The Tampa Bay Lightning carried the momentum of a successful road trip into a home-ice victory.
“We’ve done the job on the road, but we have to start taking care of business in our building,” Lightning coach John Tortorella said. “We’re making steps in the right direction.”
Marian Hossa had two goals and an assist for Atlanta, and has 14 points during his seven-game points streak. The Thrashers have lost two in a row after a four-game winning streak.
“We simply didn’t give ourselves a chance to win,” Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. “We made some flagrant mistakes.”
St. Louis assisted on Lecavalier’s goal from in close with 4:31 left in the second that put Tampa Bay ahead 4-0. St. Louis has 10 goals and 10 assists, while Lecavalier has eight goals and 10 assists during their respective streaks. Tampa Bay’s record for points is 13 straight games, held by Brian Bradley (1992), St. Louis (2004) and Vinny Prospal (2005).
“We’re starting to find our indentity and playing together,” St. Louis said. “We’re scoring goals. In this league, you score four, five goals a game, you find yourself on the winning end most nights.”
St. Louis had a penalty shot with 9:02 left to play, but was was stopped by Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen. Tampa Bay has failed on 16 of its last 17 penalty shots dating back to the 1997-98 season.
The Lightning had six power plays in the first and finshed 3-for-11 with the man advantage. Atlanta was 1-for-5 on the power play.
“We took too many penalties and that’s what killed us,” Hossa said. “We used up a lot of energy at the beginning of the game and that’s what cost is in the end.”
Craig put the Lightning up 1-0 when he redirected Boyle’s shot on the power play with 2:05 left in the first. Boyle made it 2-0 lead with a power-play goal at 4:58 of the second, ending a 20-game goal-scoring drought.
After Richards and Lecavalier scored, Hossa cut it to 4-1 on the power play with 32 seconds left in the second. Hossa made it 4-2 at 8:56 of the third. Alexeev and Atlanta’s Steve Rucchin scored later in the third.
Atlanta D Andy Sutton received a five-minute slashing penalty and a game misconduct before St. Louis’ penalty shot. … Lehtonen didn’t get called for a penalty after shooting a water bottle to the other end of the ice in the second. “I got hit there and I fell down,” he said. “The game is 4-0 and we’re really frustrated. I’m very mad I did. I just embarrassed myself.” … The Lightning have outscored their opposition 29-13 in the second this season.