Lightning return home to battle Jets

11:22 AM, Mar 7, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - A tough swing through the Northeast left Tampa Bay two games under .500 and further trailing in the Southeast Division.

The Lightning, though, have a shot at just their second winning streak since early February on Thursday evening as they try to extend their recent domination of the Winnipeg Jets franchise.

A loss in Pittsburgh on Feb. 24 was the first of five straight for Tampa Bay, which returned home to drop a game to Buffalo before losing the first three contests of a four-game swing to the New York Rangers, Boston and Pittsburgh again.

The Lightning were able to salvage the finale of the trek with Tuesday's 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils, moving to 4-8-0 on the road this season and 10-12-1 overall.

Nate Thompson scored twice and added an assist, while Anders Lindback made 25 saves. Martin St. Louis and Alexander Killorn added a goal and an assist each.

"The guys deserve it," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said of his team snapping the skid. "We were hoping to deserve one before that, but in the end, when you get hurt so much, you learn from it a little better."

Cory Conacher and Vincent Lecavalier each had two assists, while the Lightning picked up the victory despite Steven Stamkos seeing his 10-game point streak end. He had amassed 10 goals and seven assists during the run.

Stamkos will try to find the score sheet tonight and help the Lightning cut into their six-point deficit to the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the division. They'll also try to pick up their first winning streak since claiming two straight victories from Feb. 16-19.

Tampa Bay won six of its first seven to begin the season, a span that was capped with an 8-3 home victory against Winnipeg. Conacher scored twice and had an assist, while Stamkos and Lecavalier had a goal and two helpers each.

It was the Lightning's third straight victory and 15th in their past 18 versus the Jets, who haven't won in regulation in Tampa since Feb. 10, 2009. The Bolts are 9-0-2 in the previous 11 meetings there.

The Jets had won five of six before getting shut out by the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Their offensive slump continued three days later in a 4-1 setback at the Florida Panthers.

Kyle Wellwood scored his first goal of the season, but Ondrej Pavelec gave up four goals on 20 shots.

"I thought we came out a little sluggish," Wellwood admitted. "We didn't find a way to get the puck into the areas to get on the forecheck and get some hits."

Winnipeg lost the opener of a four-game swing after winning five of their previous six as the visiting club.

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