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Tampa Bay Lightning needs more balanced scoring

Here's a warning: Treat the Lightning's decent start with caution, because the team has to solve a major problem if it is to have long-term success.

Not enough players are scoring.

Entering Saturday night's game with the Kings, center Steven Stamkos, with 13 goals, and Ryan Malone, with 11, had 24 of Tampa Bay's 42 goals. That is an astronomical 57.1 percent.

No other team's top two scorers came close to that domination. Second highest were the Ducks at 46.7 percent, with Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne combining for 21 of 45 goals.

"I don't think that recipe can last 82 games," coach Rick Tocchet said. "We're going to have to get some scoring, absolutely."

It is easy to see from where goals have to come. Captain Vinny Lecavalier had just two going into Saturday, and right wing Alex Tanguay had three, as did right wing Marty St. Louis, who had zero in his previous 11 games.

And let's not forget the defense, whose three goals were better than only the Ducks' two.

"We need to chip in," St. Louis said. "Do I think about it? Absolutely. I know how good we can be if me and Vinny start going. Am I worried? No. Am I upset about it? Yeah."

So what is there to do? Tocchet said it's time to get ugly.

"To score goals, to create chances, there has to be an attitude, and I think we have to get better as an attitude to create those chances or goals," he said. "That's in front of the net, in the corners; sacrifice yourself to make somebody else get a play.

"I think sometimes we think it's going to be easy. We go to the easy spots to score goals. When you're struggling, your attitude has to be almost, 'I'm going to really get ugly tonight.' That's the only way we're going to get out of it. The guys have to find those areas where the puck's going to be bouncing."

And if others start chipping in?

"We are going to be a very dangerous team," Lecavalier said.

Tampa Bay Lightning needs more balanced scoring 11/14/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 14, 2009 9:45pm]
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