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San Jose outworks it in almost every respect as Tampa Bay fails to build on first-win momentum.
Published Oct. 27, 2008

Defenseman Brad Lukowich said his Sharks teammates would have no trouble getting up for Saturday night's game with the Lightning.

Not after losing the night before to the Panthers.

"We're mad," Lukowich said.

And feeling much better after a 3-0 victory at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Lightning players have to feel they did not give their best effort in a contest that snapped the team's record-tying streaks of six straight one-goal games and four straight that went to overtime.

Tampa Bay (1-3-3) was outshot 45-22 and consistently outworked and outbattled for pucks. It spent too much time in its own end, which was particularly disappointing because the team was coming off two hard-working games and its first victory.

Mike Smith, making his third straight start in goal, was excellent with 42 saves. But the Lightning, with a league-low 11 goals and already shut out once, hardly challenged San Jose backup Brian Boucher, who, in his second start this season, earned his second shutout.

Marcel Goc and Ryane Clowe scored in the second period, Devin Setoguchi in the third. Defenseman Dan Boyle, making his first trip to Tampa since a July 4 trade to San Jose, had an assist.

San Jose, 7-2-0 and leading the Pacific, is formidable. As Lightning coach Barry Melrose said, "For probably the last seven or eight years, one of the four most talented teams in the NHL, year in and year out. The question with San Jose is not 'why' but 'why not?' Why haven't they won, because they have everything."

That is why Melrose spoke before the game about puck possession and winning puck battles.

The Lightning did neither with any consistency in the first period, and it showed in the 16-9 shot deficit and the amount of time spent in the defensive zone.

It didn't help that Tampa Bay lost 12 of 17 faceoffs.

Smith stopped Patrick Marleau's tip-in try 50 seconds into the game, and he stopped Setoguchi at 4:48 as he tried to smack the puck fed from Joe Thornton.

Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Mark Recchi worked a nice give-and-go at 6:07 after Stamkos stole the puck in the offensive zone. But Boucher made the save on Stamkos in front of the net.

Ryan Malone tried to shift momentum by slugging it out with Clowe with 8:20 remaining. Even though Malone dropped Clowe with a left, the ice stayed tilted toward the Lightning zone.

Smith preserved the 0-0 tie with 2:32 left when he dove to his right to stop Milan Michalek's rebound try from the top of the crease.

San Jose continued to dominate in the second period, outshooting Tampa Bay 13-6, giving the Lightning just 15 shots after two periods.

Smith perhaps should have had the first goal, off Goc's slap shot from the top of the left wing faceoff circle that went in clean on the long side 7:57 into the period.

Boyle's assist gave him six points in his past four games.

Tampa Bay almost got even with 6:28 left as Marty St. Louis, during a power play, hit the post from near the slot.

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead with 2:00 remaining on Clowe's power-play goal in which he redirected Christian Ehrhoff's big shot from the high slot.

The goal snapped the Lightning's streak of 16 consecutive penalty kills.