TAMPA, Fla. – Mike Smith came up big and the Tampa Bay Lightning came up with their fourth win in five games.
Smith made 31 saves and Kurtis Foster had two assists to help the Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 Monday night. Tampa Bay got goals from Alex Tanguay and Martin St. Louis.
“Can you enjoy it tonight? Yes, but tomorrow you need to get to work,” Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said. “We have to learn to be businesslike the next day, the next game. We’ve won four of five and that’s great, but we’re still a .500 hockey club.”
Marco Sturm scored for the Bruins, who had a three-game winning streak end. Tim Thomas stopped 37 shots.
“We were unlucky on a couple of things,” Sturm said. “But overall I think we didn’t deserve to win. We just didn’t compete hard enough for 60 minutes and that’s what happened.”
Smith turned aside an in-close chance by Mark Recchi in the first.
“We just beat a pretty good hockey team,” Smith said. “We’re fighting right now to get into the playoffs, so every game is big for us, especially in our conference.”
After Thomas couldn’t handle Foster’s dump-in, Vincent Lecavalier passed the puck between his legs pass to Tanguay, who put the Lightning up 1-0 with 1:01 left in the first. Lecavalier had three assists in Tampa Bay’s 4-3 win over Atlanta on Saturday.
Tampa Bay went up 2-0 on St. Louis’ power-play goal with 11.4 seconds to go in the second. He tipped the puck into the net after Foster’s blue-line shot trickled through Thomas’ legs toward the goal line.
Boston had not allowed a goal in 21 straight penalty kills and 37 of the last 38 before that.
The Lightning (15-15-9) outshot Boston 24-6 during the second period.
Sturm scored for the Bruins from the low slot at 12:30 of the third. Marc Savard extended his point streak (five assists, six points) to four games by assisting on the goal. He also had a shot hit the post.
“We played one period and it was almost good enough, but in this league most nights it’s not going to be,” Savard said.
NOTES: Bruins LW Milan Lucic, out since spraining his left ankle on Nov. 25, has resumed practising with the team. … Tampa Bay reassigned G Riku Helenius to Norfolk of the AHL. He served as the backup Saturday because G Antero Niittymaki missed the game for the birth of his daughter. … Boston native James Taylor will sing the U.S. national anthem at the Bruins game Friday against Philadelphia at Fenway Park. … St. Louis has two goals and eight points during a five-game point streak.