NHL Game Summary - Dallas at Tampa Bay
(Monday, January 19th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Dallas 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Vincent Lecavalier tallied two goals, including the game-winner, as the Tampa Bay Lightning earned a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars.
The Lightning notched their first-ever win over Dallas at St. Pete Times Forum, having lost the previous eight games to the Stars. It was only Dallas' second loss all-time in Tampa Bay.
Lecavalier added an assist, while Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning, who have won four of six. Mike Smith, a former Stars goaltender, stopped 23 shots to take the victory.
"This was one of the most mentally and emotionally draining games I think I've played, other than the one when I was traded here," Smith said. "It felt surreal out there. I was kind of nervous to start the game. We got the job done, and that's the most important thing."
Brad Richards, who was facing his former team for the first time since being traded last season, had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who have lost four of six. Loui Eriksson also scored for Dallas, while Marty Turco allowed three goals on 19 shots in the loss.
"I had fun out there until five minutes left in the third," Richards said. "Obviously, it was a bad ending. It was a fun time to come back, but the bigger picture is that we really wanted to win the game, not just because it's them, but we need points right now, and we threw them away again when we had a lead."
Lecavalier got the Lightning on the board just 1:33 into the game, scoring a shorthanded goal on a breakaway from his own blue line.
But the Stars tied the game on the power play 20 seconds later, as Richards hammered home a shot from the right circle.
Eriksson converted a 2-on-1 rush successfully in the beginning of the second period, beating Smith top shelf at the 4:19 mark for a 2-1 Stars lead.
Tampa tied the game in the third. Jussi Jokinen fed Steve Downie from behind the net, and Downie quickly dished the puck across the crease to Stamkos, who easily deposited the puck into the net at 11:46.
"We couldn't get our rhythm until that second goal that (Stamkos) scored," Lecavalier said. "It seemed like we got our second wind. It was kind of (a) weird game that was up for grabs. The chances that we got, we put them in."
The Lightning regained the lead on a power play late in the game, as Lecavalier notched another special teams goal -- this time on the power play, with 5:06 left on a shot from the top of the right circle.
Vinny Prospal netted an empty-net goal in the final minute to seal the win for the Lightning.
Dallas dropped to 11-2, with two ties, all-time in Tampa Bay...The Lightning are 6-8-7 overall at home this season, while the Stars are 8-12-3 on the road...Downie notched his first assist of the season...Richards spent his first six-plus seasons in the NHL with the Lightning, tallying 489 points in 552 regular season games with the team. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy when Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup in 2004, posting 12 goals and 14 assists during the championship run...Lightning forward Evgeny Artyukhin was suspended two games without pay for a knee-to-knee hit of Florida forward Ville Peltonen...Mark Recchi assisted on Lecavalier's second goal, giving him 1,410 points for his career, moving past Dale Hawerchuk into 17th place on the all- time points list.
01/19 23:37:28 ET