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Tampa Bay Lightning defeats Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins 5-3

Lightning forward Dominic Moore, right, celebrates his winning goal with Steve Downie, who picked up an assist.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Lightning forward Dominic Moore, right, celebrates his winning goal with Steve Downie, who picked up an assist.

TAMPA — Marty St. Louis didn't really want to talk about what he said to his Lightning teammates before Tuesday night's game with the Bruins.

"I'd like to keep that internally, really," he said.

But with the story of St. Louis' pregame speech circulating through the locker room — and after a 5-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions snapped a seven-game losing streak and helped Tampa Bay out of the Eastern Conference cellar — that was not an option.

"Sometimes," St. Louis said, "you need just one good thing to happen."

In the Bruins' first visit to the Tampa Bay Times Forum since last season's Eastern Conference final, that was Dominic Moore's winning goal on a blast from the left faceoff circle that broke a 3-3 tie with 3:45 left.

Vinny Lecavalier, Tom Pyatt and Ryan Malone also scored for the Lightning (18-23-4), and Steven Stamkos added his league-best 31st goal into an empty net.

Matt Gilroy had two assists, and goaltender Mathieu Garon stopped 26 shots.

"They had lost seven in a row? I didn't know that," Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said. "They didn't look like that against us."

"When the puck dropped," coach Guy Boucher said, "we had emotion."

And they had St. Louis' words ringing in their ears.

"He talked about you never know when that moment comes that things can turn your way," Moore said. "The only way you can find out is by sticking with it and being positive. I thought that resonated with the group. Stay in the moment and battle and fight and see what happens."

"As a leader you're trying to pick up your team," St. Louis said. "I just felt at that moment I tried to calm the guys down and make them see it in a certain way."

St. Louis invoked last season's playoffs, reminding that after falling behind the Penguins three games to one in the East quarterfinal, Tampa Bay ripped off eight straight wins before eventually falling to Boston in Game 7.

St. Louis didn't say anything about a playoff run, but …

"We win eight in a row in the playoffs we can put a good streak together," he said, "but that happens when everybody is on top of their games, everybody is desperate, everybody is hungry."

That was evident in the third period after St. Louis' blue line blunder allowed Daniel Paille to score a shorthanded breakaway with 9:07 left to tie the score 3-3.

Tampa Bay could have crumbled. Instead, Moore's shot beat Thomas from 43 feet away.

"You want to get it off as quick as you can," Moore said. "That's the key."

With some help from St. Louis.

Lightning 1 1 3 5
Bruins 0 2 1 3

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 18 (Gilroy, St. Louis), 7:11. PenaltiesGervais, TB (high-sticking), 1:58; Moore, TB (elbowing), 9:52; Ference, Bos (interference), 14:24; Thornton, Bos (holding), 19:55.

Second Period2, Boston, Horton 15, 4:28. 3, Tampa Bay, Pyatt 5 (Downie, Gilroy), 14:11. 4, Boston, Horton 16 (Ference, Krejci), 16:48. PenaltiesLecavalier, TB (tripping), 7:05; Seidenberg, Bos (holding), 19:23.

Third Period5, Tampa Bay, Malone 10 (Moore, Thompson), 4:58. 6, Boston, Paille 8 (Chara, Seidenberg), 10:53 (sh). 7, Tampa Bay, Moore 4 (Malone, Downie), 16:15. 8, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 31 (Lecavalier), 19:39 (en). PenaltiesLucic, Bos (interference), 10:14; Seguin, Bos (diving), 13:14; Stamkos, TB (hooking), 13:14. Shots on GoalBoston 6-11-12—29. Tampa Bay 11-10-10—31. Power-play opportunitiesBoston 0 of 3; Tampa Bay 0 of 4. GoaliesBoston, Thomas 18-9-0 (30 shots-26 saves). Tampa Bay, Garon 12-13-2 (29-26). A19,204 (19,204). T2:28. Referees—Eric Furlatt, Brad Meier. LinesmenSteve Miller, Mark Shewchyk.

Tampa Bay Lightning defeats Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins 5-3 01/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:25am]
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