TAMPA, Fla. -- Guy Boucher said he didn't expect anything to come easy.
"If you do, you're not very smart," the Tampa Bay Lightning coach said after his team pasted the Winnipeg Jets 8-3 on Friday night.
It might not have come easy, but it came decisively and goals came quickly as Tampa Bay won its fifth straight, fifth in five games at home and ascended to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Rookie Cory Conacher had two goals and six Lightning players had multi-point games as Tampa Bay scored the first six goals and increased its NHL-best goals total to 37.
Tampa Bay (6-1-0) was coming off two days of rest, and it looked refreshed. The Jets (3-4-1) were coming off a disheartening loss on Thursday against a Florida Panthers team that had lost five straight. And they looked it.
Tampa Bay exploited six Winnipeg penalties and two 5-on-3 opportunities as Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos dissected the league's statistically-worst penalty kill for a 3-0 lead after one period. Conacher started the scoring when he tipped down a Matt Carle blast from the point on the power play with 12:03 left in the period.
Stamkos took a pass from St. Louis to smash the puck under goaltender Ondrej Pavelec's arm for a goal to cap a 5-on-3 chance with 5:49 left in the period.
St. Louis delivered the key assist again with 3:05 left in the period when he drew Pavelec right with a fake and then flicked to Lecavalier for a one-timer into a gaping opening on the left side of the net. The goal was Tampa Bay's 12th on the power play this season and second on 5-on-3 in the game.
"The momentum changed right away, obviously, because of all the penalties," said Lecavalier, who had a goal and two assists. "I'm not saying that to be arrogant, but when you can have all these power plays and capitalize on them and go up 3, 4 nothing in the first period, it's definitely tough for the other team. If we were in that situation it would be tough, down 4-0 on a back-to-back like game like they were."
Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, who had set up the first two-man disadvantage with an errant clearing attempt that went over the glass for a delay penalty, said the Lightning "made us pay."
"It's obviously not where you want to go, with the difficulty we've had killing penalties," he said. "We end up in a five-minute situation, where the last thing you want to do is take another one with four minutes left and I shot it over the glass to set us up on a two-minute, five-on-three then.
"We just couldn't get out of it. ... (If) Vinny is going to get open nets, he's probably going to put them in."
The onslaught continued into the second period as the Lightning took a 6-0 lead. Conacher added another goal, Nate Thompson recorded his first of the season and Teddy Purcell got his second as his fling to the goal from the boards slid through the skates of Pavelec, who was then replaced by Al Montoya.
The Jets got a tally from Tobias Enstrom and power play goals from Paul Postma and Andrew Ladd in the third period. Ryan Malone and Benoit Pouliot countered for the Lightning.
Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said his team "got off on the wrong foot."
"For us, we are going to move forward and we are going to try to take some positives out of this thing," said Noel, who had blasted his team after a loss at Florida. "We have a game on Tuesday and we have a couple of practices and we are going to move forward."
Notes: Thompson and Postma scored their first goals of the season. ... Winnipeg outshot the Lightning 29-25. ... Stamkos (goal, two assists) has at least a point in all seven games this season. ... Conacher (two goals and an assist) has at least a point in six of seven games. His first NHL multi-goal game puts him atop all rookies with 12 points.... D Dustin Byfuglien (three goals, seven points) missed his second straight game after aggravating a lower-body body injury in a morning skate on Thursday as Winnipeg prepared to play Florida. ... Lightning D Sami Salo, who entered the game leading the league in plus-minus rating (plus-10), left briefly after being checked from behind into the boards by Chris Thorburn in the first period. Thorburn was assessed a five-minute major. He just had a cut lip. ... The Lightning concludes a season-longest five-game homestand on Saturday against the New York Rangers. ... Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback had his second NHL assist. He had 26 saves.