NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Atlanta
(Sunday, January 4th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Atlanta 1
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Martin St. Louis registered two goals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning climbed out of the Southeast division cellar with a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.
Mike Smith made 27 saves, as the Lightning moved one point ahead of the now- last place Thrashers. Steve Eminger and Ryan Malone also scored for Tampa Bay, which recorded its first win in Atlanta since February 22, 2007 and snapped a three-game losing streak.
"I'd like to think (we've turned the corner)," St. Louis said. "We look on the same page. We get in trouble sometimes when we try to go on our own agenda. If we stay in the team concept, we're a tough team to play against. It just takes one guy on his own program, and it hurts the other four on the ice. When were all five working to the team concept, we have a good chance to be successful."
Erik Christensen scored the lone goal for the Thrashers, who have lost five of six. Kari Lehtonen allowed four goals on 35 shots in the loss.
"Our 'give-a-crap' level is at zero," Thrashers head coach John Anderson said. "After a big win against Vancouver, against a real good hockey team...we throw (this) game. I (have to) question whether anybody cares in that locker room right now. It's a joke. We coach every game with desperation right now."
The Lightning scored the opening goal, as Eminger's slap shot on the power play found its way through traffic and past Lehtonen less than three minutes in.
St. Louis gave Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead late in the second period, redirecting a Vincent Lecavalier pass out in front and by Lehtonen with 3:40 left in the frame.
The visitors took a commanding three-goal lead a minute into the third, as St. Louis sat in the slot on a power play and scored off a deft pass from Vaclav Prospal.
Malone added a goal in the final minutes for Tampa, and Christensen scored with 22 seconds left to spoil Smith's shutout bid.
The Lightning lead the season series, 2-1...Atlanta center Bryan Little suffered a rib contusion in the second period and left the game...This marked the first game of a five-game road trip for the Lightning. They will also play Phoenix, Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose before returning home.
01/04 20:17:27 ET