NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Los Angeles
(Monday, January 12th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Los Angeles 1
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Mike Smith turned back 29-of-30 shots and the Tampa Bay Lightning logged a 3-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.
Vincent Lecavalier notched a goal and an assist while Mark Recchi and Evgeny Artyukhin scored first-period goals for the Lightning, who continued the west coast portion of their five-game road trip, improving to 3-1 on the trek following Friday's win in Anaheim. Tampa Bay finishes off the trip Tuesday in San Jose.
The team is sporting just a 9-12-3 mark as the visiting club this year, but has won five of its last seven road tests.
"We're not out of it by any means and if we go on a run anything can happen, so this is the time to do it -- this is an important win for us," Smith said.
Peter Harrold got the lone score for the Kings, who were coming off a blowout loss to visiting New Jersey and have dropped three of four and nine of their last 13 games overall.
Erik Ersberg was pulled in the second period after allowing his third goal on just seven shots. Jonathan Quick came on to stop Tampa Bay's remaining 15 shots.
LA fell to 1-2 in the midst of a four-game homestand and has dropped six of its last eight games at home. Detroit pays a visit to Staples Center Thursday to polish off the stand.
"Losing a game is always the most disappointing thing," Kings head coach Terry Murray said. "You can lose a game a lot of different ways. You can lose where you play extremely well or you can lose where you play without the structure, without the system, and that seemed to be where we were at tonight. The puck management and the decisions with and without the puck really cost us."
Artyukhin got things started by picking up a loose puck along the right boards and skating in on net for a wrist shot that beat Ersberg low on the far side with 1:44 left in the opening period.
Recchi scored just 41 seconds later, lifting a backhand shot past a screened Ersberg after collecting a loose puck in the slot.
Lecavalier made it a 3-0 game 5:48 into the second, one-timing a feed from Martin St. Louis at the left circle.
LA finally solved Smith with 1:58 left in the second as Harrold's slap shot from the high slot was screened off in front by Dustin Brown.
"In the second period Los Angeles started coming onto us, but we found a way to hold the fort and Smith made some great saves. Smith has probably been our All-Star this year," Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet said.
Smith was sensational in the third period making 11 saves in all, which included a furious final 2:47. Marek Malik was whistled for interference at 17:13 and LA pulled Quick 18 seconds later for an extra attacker and a two-man advantage. Smith was assaulted with a barrage of scoring chances and stood his ground on each attempt, allowing Tampa Bay to continue its success on the road.
The Lightning and Kings met for the first time since February 6, 2007 and faced off in Los Angeles for the first time since January 17, 2006. Tampa Bay has won three straight in the series and is 9-2 with a pair of ties in the last 13 meetings overall. The Bolts are 5-0 with two ties in their last seven stops at Staples Center...Following Tuesday's tilt with the Sharks, the Lightning return home for a five-game homestand starting Thursday against Philadelphia...The Kings dropped to 12-10-6 as the host this season...LA defenseman Drew Doughty left the game in the second period with a thigh contusion and did not return.
01/13 02:12:43 ET