San Jose at Tampa Bay

Lightning's Smith earns first victory in nine months

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Mike Smith turned practice into a victory.

Smith won for the first time in nine months, James Wright scored his first NHL goal and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Thursday.

"He had a really good week of practice," Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said. "When he practices well he's right on."

Smith, who missed the final 32 games last season because of post concussion syndrome, made 32 saves to stop a personal six-game losing streak with his first victory since Jan. 27.

"I worked really hard in practice this week and things turned out great for us," Smith said. "I got back to fundamentals this week. I think it helped, so hopefully it can carryover."

Steven Stamkos had two goals and Andrej Meszaros and Ryan Malone also scored for the Lightning, who were outscored 11-2 in losing their previous two games.

San Jose got goals from Ryan Vesce and Dan Boyle. The Sharks are 2-2 during a six-game trip.

"We're just not playing the full 60 minutes," Boyle said. "We're making some mistakes and they're costing us goals."

Wright's first goal -- in the eighth game of his rookie season -- came from the low slot off a pass from Martin St. Louis just 30 seconds into the game. St. Louis has started the season with a point in eight consecutive, picking up nine assists and 12 points over the stretch.

"He's a breath of fresh air," Tocchet said of Wright. "He's a 19-year old that does what you ask."

Malone made it 2-0 when he redirected David Hale's shot for his seventh goal this season with 4:59 left in the first.

"Once again our start isn't the way it should be, so as a coach I'll have some questions to ask some of the leaders," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "We'll be looking for some answers."

The Sharks rebounded from a 2-0 deficit to beat the New York Rangers 7-3 on Monday night.

San Jose got to 2-1 on Vesce's goal from in-close at 12:34 of the second. He has a goal in three straight games.

Tampa Bay went ahead 3-1 with 3:21 to go in the second on Stamkos' fifth goal of the season. Meszaros extended Tampa Bay's advantage to three goals early in the third.

Boyle scored a power-play goal with 6:19 remaining in the third.

Stamkos had an empty-netter during the final minute.

Vincent Lecavalier's goal-scoring drought reached 15 consecutive games, dating to March 17. The Lightning captain did get his seventh assist on Wright's goal.

Notes

  • San Jose won both games against Tampa Bay last season, outscoring the Lightning 10-1. This was the lone game between the teams this season.
  • Stamkos has four goals and six points over the past four games.
  • Sharks D Jason Demers assisted on Vesce's goal and has five assists in his last three games.
  • Sharks C Joe Thornton tied San Jose GM Doug Wilson and Dave Keon for 74th on the career assists list (590) when he assisted on Boyle's goal.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Mike Smith stops 32 shots for his first win since his season-ending concussion in January. (AP)
Mike Smith stops 32 shots for his first win since his season-ending concussion in January. (AP)

Scoreboard
San Jose (5-4-1)0112
Tampa Bay  (3-3-2) «2125
Three Stars
M. St. Louis
TB


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
M. Smith
TB


Saves: 32
Save Pct.: .941
M. Walker
TB


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
30.0James Wright (1), Snap Shot. Assist: St. Louis, Lecavalier
15:01Ryan Malone (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hale, Downie
2ND PERIOD
12:34Ryan Vesce (3), Backhand Shot. Assist: Huskins, Demers
16:39Steven Stamkos (5), Snap Shot, Unassisted.
3RD PERIOD
02:54Andrej Meszaros (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Fedoruk, Veilleux
13:41Power Play - Dan Boyle (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Thornton, Marleau
19:41Steven Stamkos (6), Empty Net. Assist: Tanguay
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:25Shelley, 2 min, Kneeing
07:38Meszaros, 2 min, Cross-Checking
2ND PERIOD
06:30Stamkos, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
12:22Lecavalier, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
 123T
San Jose11121134
Tampa Bay79925
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Evgeni Nabokov58:54204
Mike Smith60:00322
Game Information
Attendance - 13343
Referees - Stephen Walkom, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Darren Gibbs, Jean Morin
 
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