TAMPA, Fla. – Mike Lundin can “finally” relax.
Lundin had his first NHL goal – coming in his 111th game – and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 on Saturday night.
“Relieved, I guess,” Lundin said. “Pure joy to get it.”
Lundin scored from the low slot after taking a pass by Vincent Lecavalier as the Lightning went ahead 2-1 at 4:44 of the second. The defenceman was recalled from Norfolk of the AHL before the game.
“I didn’t know if I was going to get called up again or not this year, and all of a sudden get my first goal,” Lundin said.
Lightning coach Rick Tocchet, before the game, said Lundin was brought up because the team thought he could provide an offensive spark.
“It shows a lot about him,” Tocchet said.
Lundin has eight career assists, with the last one coming 22 games ago on Oct. 28, 2008. He has played in five games this season.
Alex Tanguay scored his first goal in 19 games, and Lecavalier had three assists to lead Tampa Bay to its fourth win in 15 games. Mike Smith stopped 24 shots.
Tanguay made it 3-2 from in close off Steve Downie’s pass at 5:04 of the third. Ryan Malone extended the Lightning advantage to 4-2 with 13:15 to play.
“If we’re going to play the same way like that, we’re going to be out of that (playoff) picture,” Atlanta captain Ilya Kovalchuk said. “We need to wake up and play as a team. It can’t be one guy or two guys or three guys.”
Nik Antropov, Marty Reasoner and Kovalchuk scored for the Thrashers, who have lost four in a row. Kovalchuk’s 22nd goal of the season cut it to 4-3 with 3:10 remaining.
Atlanta entered 7-0 this season when tied after two periods.
“We played a good game and then we stopped playing for whatever reason,” said Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who made 30 saves. “I don’t know what’s going on. It’s almost every game like that.”
Reasoner got the Thrashers even at 2 on a fluke goal with 3:06 remaining in the second. His shot hit the post and then went off Smith’s skate into the net.
Antropov extended his point streak to six games (six goals and nine points) with a rebound goal that put Atlanta up 1-0 at 11:48 of the first. Kovalchuk assisted on the goal and has eight assists and 14 points during a season-high nine-game point streak.
Downie tied it at 1 with 6:26 left in the first.
“We’ve got to play for 60 minutes,” Thrashers coach John Anderson said. “We just can’t play defence whenever we feel like it. Two hugest mistakes ended up in our net.”
NOTES: Tampa Bay C Jeff Halpern and LW Todd Fedoruk are both expected to miss two weeks with undisclosed lower body injuries. The pair were hurt in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to Philadelphia. … Antropov has a goal in seven of his last nine games. … Lightning G Antero Niittymaki missed the game to be with his wife for the birth of the couple’s daughter. Niittymaki is 14-0-0 against Atlanta. … Tampa Bay also recalled G Riku Helenius from Norfolk.