Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis scored rare Tampa Bay power-play goals, helping the Lightning stop a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
“What I thought we did well tonight is we won battles,” St. Louis said. “It’s nice to be rewarded for hard work. We played well in some of our losses. You don’t want to start second guessing yourself. Tonight we started getting rewarded for hard work.”
Tampa Bay (2-3-0) had scored six goals in the first four games of the season.
“To get out of our offensive woes, it’s very important right now to keep it simple and not get too fancy,” Lightning coach John Tortorella said.
The Lightning, who entered the game 1-for-26 with the man advantage, converted two of six power-play chances. Ruslan Fedotenko and Dmitry Afanasenkov had the other Tampa Bay goals, while Marc Denis stopped 23 shots.
Ed Belfour made 32 saves in his second start this season for Florida. He had allowed four goals on nine shots in 27 minutes of a 6-0 loss to Atlanta on Oct. 7.
The Panthers got a goal from Stephen Weiss. Florida was 1-for-6 on the power play.
St. Louis put the Lightning up 2-1 on his first goal of the season during a 5-on-3 power play at 8:30 of the second. The rebound goal came on the fifth shot – including four in-close chances – with the two-man advantage.
“I was excited because I’ve had more chances I think in a five-game span than I’ve ever had in my career,” St. Louis said. “Every game I had chances to score and they just don’t go in.”
Tampa Bay outshot the Panthers 18-5 in the second.
“Eddie kept us in the second period,” Florida coach Jacques Martin said. “He gave us a good opportunity to win the game and we didn’t respond.”
Lecavalier made it 1-0 at 4:20 of the first with a power-play goal. Weiss tied it at 1 on the power play with 3:19 left in the period.
Fedotenko and Afanasenkov extended Tampa Bay’s lead to 4-1 with goals 22 seconds apart midway through the third.
“It shouldn’t happen,” Florida centre Olli Jokinen said. “We should be ready for our next shift. But overall, we didn’t get enough shots and we didn’t do little things right.”
Notes: Florida C Joe Nieuwendyk sat out his third consecutive game with a hip flexor injury. He resumed skating Saturday and could return as soon as Wednesday. … Tampa Bay C Andreas Karlsson (groin strain) missed his fourth straight game.