TAMPA — For the Lightning on Tuesday night against the Maple Leafs, the assignment was to find the right balance.
That meant making sure the defensive side of the puck was taken care of first, coach Guy Boucher said.
And then, said captain Vinny Lecavalier, "Find that switch when it's time to go on offense. When it's time to go, you go."
The strategy worked in a 4-2 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,402 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Tampa Bay (8-6-1), which won its second straight game, allowed just 25 shots with very few good scoring chances.
That the Lightning tied its season low with 19 shots didn't bother Boucher, who said, "I'm looking at scoring chances against, and we gave them nothing in the second period. That's what I'm looking at. The rest I could care less."
It didn't hurt that four shots — by Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn and Matt Carle — got through goaltender Ben Scrivens, who was coming off consecutive shutouts but was not sharp.
Lecavalier's goal 9:25 into the first period that gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead ended Scrivens' shutout streak at 154 minutes, 16 seconds.
Ben Pouliot had three assists. Carle was steady with three blocks and two takeaways, and goalie Anders Lindback made 23 saves.
"We didn't give much to the opponent," Boucher said. "That's what we wanted."
The Lightning did take advantage of a team playing the second of back-to-back games but did it the right way.
Tampa Bay's forecheck was aggressive, and the players limited their turnovers.
That forced the Maple Leafs, for the most part, to battle for the puck and skate the length of the ice to make plays.
The Lightning also took advantage of its chances.
Lecavalier's goal, which beat Scrivens' short side, came after a Toronto turnover. Stamkos' goal, his 10th, which broke a 1-1 tie 4:56 into the second period, came after Pouliot and Cory Conacher did a lot of digging in the Maple Leafs' zone.
Killorn's flip shot from 44 feet away simply skipped through Scrivens. Carle's power-play goal that made it 4-1 6:58 into the third period was a whiff that got Scrivens pulled.
In the end, perhaps, Tampa Bay would have liked more shots. As Carle said, "We can still do a better job trying to generate some more opportunities. There were some instances on some rushes where guys were trying to be too cute."
On the other hand, Lecavalier said, "We're playing more patient. We're not running and gunning. We're trying to play defense. That's our goal, so some nights we'll get less shots."
They'll take it if it means more wins.
First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 6 (Pouliot, St. Louis), 9:25. 2, Toronto, Grabovski 4 (Kulemin, MacArthur), 17:59. Penalties—Toronto bench, served by Kessel (too many men), 1:40; M.Brown, Tor, major-misconduct (fighting), 7:56; Crombeen, TB, major (fighting), 7:56.
Second Period—3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 10 (Conacher, Pouliot), 4:56. Penalties—Purcell, TB (tripping), 1:34; van Riemsdyk, Tor (hooking), 6:52; Scrivens, Tor, served by M.Brown (tripping), 13:06; M.Brown, Tor (holding), 15:30; Stamkos, TB (hooking), 15:41.
Third Period—4, Tampa Bay, Killorn 2 (Crombeen), 2:49. 5, Tampa Bay, Carle 3 (Pouliot, Hedman), 6:58 (pp). 6, Toronto, van Riemsdyk 9 (Kessel, Bozak), 16:08. Penalties—Grabovski, Tor (hooking), 5:29; Orr, Tor, served by MacArthur, minor-misconduct (roughing), 11:08; Kadri, Tor, major (fighting), 11:08; Hedman, TB, major (fighting), 11:08; Fraser, Tor, major (fighting), 14:03; Aulie, TB, served by Purcell, minor-major (high-sticking, fighting), 14:03. Shots on Goal—Toronto 9-7-9—25. Tampa Bay 4-6-9—19. Power-play opportunities—Toronto 0 of 3; Tampa Bay 1 of 6. Goalies—Toronto, Scrivens 4-4-0 (13 shots-9 saves), Rynnas (6:58 third, 6-6). Tampa Bay, Lindback 7-3-1 (25-23). A—19,204 (19,204).