TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Coming off an outstanding road trip, the
Tampa Bay Lightning were ready to play.
Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis were among four Tampa Bay
players with a goal and an assist as the Lightning sent the
Pittsburgh Penguins to their eighth straight loss with a 5-1
victory Thursday night.
The Lightning returned home after going 3-0-1 on a road trip
that included victories at Calgary, Edmonton and Pittsburgh.
"The first game back is always on your mind because it's the
toughest game," Richards said. "We knew this was important."
St. Louis has nine goals -- including five in the past three
games -- and 16 points during an eight-game point streak. Vincent
Lecavalier and Brad Lukowich also had a goal and an assist.
Tampa Bay won all four meetings between the teams this season,
outscoring the NHL's worst team 23-4.
"We all know Pittsburgh is rebuilding," Tampa Bay coach John
Tortorella said. "You have to keep focus and get ready for every
Pavel Kubina had a power-play goal for the Southeast
Division-leading Lightning, who have a nine-point advantage over
Ryan Malone scored Pittsburgh's goal. The Penguins have lost 14
"As far as our situation, we'll continue to give guys an
opportunity and re-evaluate each and every night," Penguins coach
Eddie Olczyk said. "Evaluation hasn't stopped and there are plenty
of guys still waiting for an opportunity in the organization.
That's the reality of it."
The biggest development for the Penguins took place before the
game when the team announced goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the No.
1 pick in the June draft, will return to his junior team in Cape
Breton, Nova Scotia, on Friday.
"I didn't know if it was going to happen or not," Fleury said.
"My dream always has been to be in the NHL and now I'm going back,
but I'm very grateful to the Penguins. They gave me a chance to be
part of the team for a while."
The move came several days after the Penguins signaled they had
no plans to send Fleury back to juniors in the near future.
The Lightning scored three times on their first seven shots
against Jean-Sebastien Aubin in the first period.
Richards opened the scoring at 4:44. After Kubina followed with
his third power-play goal in the past two games at 13:27,
Lecavalier made it 3-0 on a breakaway backhander with 4:20 left in
St. Louis gave the Lightning a four-goal lead with his 24th goal
3:59 into the second. Lukowich added his first goal in 18 games at
Malone scored on a breakaway with 3:31 left in the second. The
goal came on the Penguins' ninth shot against Nikolai Khabibulin.
Pittsburgh was outshot 32-14.
Linesman Derek Amell left late in the first period with a
bruised knee after being hit by a shot. X-rays were negative. ... D
Darryl Sydor had an assist in his Tampa Bay debut. He was acquired
in a trade with Columbus on Tuesday. ... Penguins D Dick Tarnstrom
(illness) and LW Steve McKenna (arm) did not play. ... Lightning D
Darren Rumble was sent to Hershey of the AHL for a two-game
conditioning assignment. ... The victory was the 100th for
Tortorella. ... Tampa Bay RW Ruslan Fedotenko had three assists.