Friday, November 21, 2008

VICTORY! Tampa Bay gets Tocchet His First Victory

By JC De La Torre

The Tampa Bay Lightning got two goals from Vincent Lecavalier, 3 assists from Ryan Malone, and 34 saves from Mike Smith as they pounded the Nashville Predators 4-1 to give interim Head Coach Rick Tocchet his first coaching victory.

The Lightning wasted little time jumping on Preds goalie Dan Ellis as at the 4:57 mark of the first, Lecavalier connected on an open net rebound for a power play goal. A couple minutes later, Lecavalier was back on the ice, found a loose puck and ripped a slapper past Ellis to stake Tampa Bay to a 2-0 advantage. Jordin Tootoo got the Preds on the board at the 10:40 mark of the first with his 3rd goal of the season, a seeing-eye blast from the glass. Two minutes later, Recchi would reestablish Tampa Bay's two goal lead with a tip in off a scrum, his 4th of the season. It was 3-1 Bolts after one period.

In the second period, Prospal found a rebound after a scrum, depositing it for his 4th of the season to stake Tampa Bay to a 4-1 advantage. The Lightning defense killed 7 Nashville power plays as Mike Smith continued his sensational play, especially in the second period where he made 15 of his 34 saves.

The Lightning improve to 6-7-6, 18 pts, snapping a 5 game winless streak. The Lightning move into third place in the Southeast division and 11th in the conference (3 points out of a playoff spot).

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