Lecavalier had three goals and two assists, helping the Lightning stop a four-game losing streak with an 8-0 victory over the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night. “We were looking to win one game,” Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. “I never envisioned 8-0.
“Who can figure the game out?”
It was the fourth career hat trick for Lecavalier, who has scored a goal in five consecutive games.
“It seemed like every shot went in,” said Lecavalier, who took six shots. “Some nights you can have 10 shots and nothing goes in.
“Tonight, three go in. I don’t know what to say?”
The Lightning record for goals in a game is four, set by Chris Kontos in the team’s first-ever game Oct. 7, 1992, against Chicago.
Martin St. Louis had a goal and four assists as the Lightning beat Atlanta for the fourth time in five games this season. Marc Denis made 21 saves to end a personal seven-game losing skid.
“We didn’t show up,” Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. “You don’t need to be a specialist to figure out that game.
“Their execution was flawless. We got into penalty problems. They were skating, we were watching.”
Denis’ shutout was his first this season and 16th overall.
“It’s fun to do it in the fashion we did it tonight,” Denis said. “A total team effort.”
Lecavalier and St. Louis set career highs with five points each.
“That’s as good as I’ve seen Lecavalier and St. Louis play,” Hartley said.
Tampa Bay also got goals from Nikita Alexeev, Brad Richards, Dan Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko.
Atlanta goalie Kari Lehtonen was pulled after allowing five goals on 30 shots over two periods. The Thrashers’ franchise-record tying five-game winning streak ended.
“This a good wake-up call,” Lehtonen said. “Everybody has a lot of things to make better in the next game.”
Lecavalier put the Lightning ahead 1-0 after he picked up a loose puck and scored from the slot with 27.6 seconds left in the first. After scoring a power-play goal from the right-circle at 6:28 of the second, Lecavalier made it 3-0 after faking a shot from the top of the left circle and scoring on a backhand shot with 7:46 left in the period.
Alexeev and Richards extended the Lightning lead to 5-0 later in the second. Boyle and St. Louis, who scored off a pass from Lecavalier during a 2-on-1 at 6:30, gave Tampa Bay a 7-0 advantage early in the third.
“It was a pretty embarrassing loss,” Thrashers captain Scott Mellanby said. “We’re pretty disappointed in ourselves.
“We’re just going to have to wake up (Friday) and try to forget about it.”
Notes: Atlanta RW Marian Hossa, who has been battling a virus, was rested most of the third period. … Tortorella coached his 400th game with the Lightning. … Lecavalier’s power-play goal in the second stopped an 0-for-26 stretch with the man advantage for Tampa Bay. … Denis picked up his 100th NHL victory.