NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Tampa Bay
(Friday, November 21st)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Nashville 1
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Vincent Lecavalier scored twice to lead Tampa Bay over Nashville, 4-1, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Vinny Prospal and Mark Recchi also tallied for the Lightning, who gave interim head coach Rick Tocchet his first win in three games since taking over for the fired Barry Melrose on November 14.
"It's great. It's like scoring your first NHL goal," Tocchet said of his first coaching victory.
Ryan Malone returned from a four-game absence to record three assists but left the game late with an undisclosed injury. Steven Stamkos registered two helpers for Tampa Bay.
Mike Smith stopped 34 shots for his fifth win of the season.
Jordin Tootoo collected the lone goal for the Predators, who have dropped two in a row after winning three straight.
Dan Ellis took the loss by allowing all four scores on just 24 shots.
"They won the game because of everything we did," groused Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "We turned pucks over, we made bad decisions, we gave them a 5- on-3 power play."
The Bolts struck for two quick goals a little more than two minutes apart early in the first period as Lecavalier scored at 4:57 on the power play and 7:05 at even strength.
Tootoo answered for the Preds at 10:40, but Tampa regained a two-goal edge on Recchi's marker with 7:43 left in the first.
Prospal gave Tampa a three-goal advantage at the 6:32 mark of the middle period and Smith closed out the contest by stopping all nine shots he faced in the third.
"It felt pretty good to get a lead tonight and Smitty just played unbelievable," said Lecavalier. "When you get three goals (in the first period) on a team a lot of the time it's going to take the wind out of a team."
Tampa Bay has won four straight matchups and is 6-1-1 (one tie) against Nashville dating back to the 2001-02 season...Recchi's goal gave him 1,394 career points, tying him for 19th on the all-time list with Luc Robitaille...Predators forward Jason Arnott returned to the lineup after leaving Monday's game in San Jose with a neck strain in a scary collision with the Sharks' Joe Pavelski...Lightning forwards Chris Gratton (lower body injury) and Gary Roberts (upper body injury) did not play.
11/22 00:09:27 ET