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Tampa Bay Lightning beats Phoenix Coyotes 8-3

TAMPA — The joke around the Lightning locker room Wednesday night was the team should take a trip to Naples before every big game.

And after an 8-3 victory over the Coyotes at the St. Pete Times Forum, it didn't seem like a bad idea.

"To come back and get a big win like that, it was nice," captain Vinny Lecavalier said. "We appreciate as players everything they're doing for us."

What the team did was give the players two days of sun and golf in Naples with a quick practice at Estero on the way home. What the players gave back was a superlative effort that wiped away a three-game losing streak.

Tampa Bay (35-18-7) scored five first-period goals, including three on the power play, to take a 5-0 lead on its way to snapping Phoenix's eight-game winning streak.

Teddy Purcell had his first NHL hat trick.

"My first since street hockey since I was 10 or 12," he said.

Lecavalier had a goal and tied a personal best with five points. Marty St. Louis had two goals and three points. Steven Stamkos scored his league-best 41st goal and hit four posts, and Adam Hall's third-period goal gave Tampa Bay eight, tied for second most in team history, behind nine scored against the Penguins in November 2003.

"We played the right way," Lecavalier said. "We came out hard. We were skating. We were first on the puck. We did all the little things we usually do when we win."

It didn't hurt that the Coyotes played into overtime Tuesday in Philadelphia, and that goaltender Jason LaBarbera, who as backup to Ilya Bryzgalov, had played eight minutes in Phoenix's past 19 games.

LaBarbera looked rusty, allowing Purcell's goal 1:59 into the game on a shot from the side boards. He had zero chance on Purcell's other goals, both in-close off setups from Lecavalier.

Tampa Bay, with a 39-28 shot advantage, dictated the play from the outset, especially on the power play.

It had been 26 games since it scored more than once with the extra man. But St. Louis and Stamkos scored off rebounds of Lecavalier shots, and Lecavalier blasted a shot past LaBarbera with 2:06 left to finish the first-period scoring.

"The offense was all about pucks on net," coach Guy Boucher said. "If you look at our goals, they started with a battle, they started with a shot. To me, it's clear, if you try to skill it, you're going nowhere. If you let the skills come out of grinding, then you've got something solid."

"We shot the puck," Lecavalier said. "We made that one pass to open up a seam, and then we took that seam and went for rebounds. It's Power Play 101, but that's what we have to get back to."

The organization could do something, too.

"Give us more trips to Naples," Purcell said, laughing.

Lightning 5 2 1 8
Coyotes 0 1 2 3
Lightning 5 2 1 8
Coyotes 0 1 2 3

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Purcell 13, 1:59. 2, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 21 (Harju, Thompson), 3:01. 3, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 22 (Lecavalier, Bergeron), 7:54 (pp). 4, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 41 (Clark, Lecavalier), 14:55 (pp). 5, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 14 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 17:54 (pp). PenaltiesDoan, Pho (holding), 6:33; Yonkman, Pho (holding), 14:28; Doan, Pho (goaltender interference), 15:55; Rozsival, Pho (cross-checking), 16:37.

Second Period6, Tampa Bay, Purcell 14 (Lecavalier, R.Jones), 2:43. 7, Tampa Bay, Purcell 15 (Lecavalier, Gagne), 8:17. 8, Phoenix, Hanzal 14 (Boedker, Vrbata), 12:28. PenaltiesOhlund, TB (hooking), 5:50.

Third Period9, Tampa Bay, Hall 7 (Bergenheim, Moore), 4:52. 10, Phoenix, Turris 10 (Doan, Schlemko), 9:16. 11, Phoenix, Schlemko 1 (Korpikoski), 10:44. PenaltiesBergeron, TB (holding), 6:32; Turris, Pho (roughing), 19:40; Moore, TB (roughing), 19:40. Shots on GoalPhoenix 6-13-9—28. Tampa Bay 19-12-8—39. Power-play opportunitiesPhoenix 0 of 2; Tampa Bay 3 of 4. GoaliesPhoenix, LaBarbera 6-6-3 (39 shots-31 saves). Tampa Bay, Roloson 16-19-2 (28-25). A15,104 (19,758).

Lightning 8

Coyotes 3

Tampa Bay Lightning beats Phoenix Coyotes 8-3 02/23/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 24, 2011 12:14am]

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