LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Tampa Bay Lightning rediscovered their power play.
The defending Stanley Cup champions scored twice with the man advantage to end an 0-for-40 drought and went on to beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 on Tuesday night in the franchise's 1,000th regular-season game.
"It feels good to be able to get some power-play goals," said Martin St. Louis, who scored the first one and set up the other one by Vincent Lecavalier. "We hadn't been getting enough shots through. We weren't going to the net and trying to bang one in. It doesn't have to be a pretty play."
Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for Tampa Bay and Norman Milley scored his first NHL goal into an empty net with 1:10 remaining. John Grahame made 22 saves, one of them on Sean Avery's penalty shot after Pavel Kubina took down the Kings' center from behind on a breakaway with 16:67 remaining.
"I am very happy, as far as how all four lines, all six defensemen and the goalie played tonight," coach John Tortorella said. "The key to us becoming a better team and a competitive team in this league was our work habits and our accountability. And if we lose that, we are an average to a below-average team - as we've seen when we don't work hard."
Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, who have lost four of their last five games - including a 10-1 thumping by the Sabres on Saturday night in Buffalo. But facing an angry team wasn't on the minds of Tampa Bay's coaching staff.
"To be honest, we didn't say one word before the game about the other team, and that's no disrespect to L.A.," Tortorella said. "We have enough problems of our own to even be concerned about anybody else.
"Our special teams was a key tonight - not only scoring the two power play goals, but we ran into some penalty problems and would up killing off three in the last 10 minutes of the second period. That was important."
The Lightning are one point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and need a successful power play to have a chance to give themselves a chance to repeat.
"We've got a long way to go, and no one in this room panics," Grahame said. "We had a successful second half when we won the Cup, and that's what we're focusing on right now. Everybody played great tonight and it was a good team effort. That's what we were looking for and that's what we got."
Kings defenseman Denis Grebeshkov was sent off for boarding and Avery got a double-minor for high-sticking Kubina 8 seconds later, giving the Lightning a two-man advantage at 7:36 of the second period. Lecavalier scored 41 seconds into Grebeshkov's penalty, one-timing St. Louis' pass for his 19th goal to put Tampa Bay ahead 2-1.
Kings goalie Mathieu Garon left the game after the first period because of a bruised shoulder, which he injured while stopping a shot by Fedotenko with 8:05 left in the period.
"I was cut from a shot, and I can only move my arm a little bit right now," Garon said. "Nothing in my shoulder is broken, but I'm having more tests tomorrow."
Jason LaBarbera, who rejoined the Kings on Monday following a brief conditioning assignment with Manchester of the AHL, replaced Garon at the start of the second period and made 12 saves.
"When he got hit, I thought maybe he would shake it off," LaBarbera said. "When he came back in the dressing room, I could tell he was in a lot of pain. Then with 7 minutes to go in the first (intermission), I was told I was in. It's not the easiest thing in the world, but it's part of the job and you have to be ready."
Tampa Bay, 1-for-51 on the power play in its previous 10 games, opened the scoring the first time it a man advantage.
St. Louis had the puck on the goal line about 20 feet to the right of the net and banked it in off Garon's upper body for his 17th goal at 6:59 of the first period. Just 2 seconds were left on Mattias Norstrom's penalty for hooking Fredrik Modin.
"Obviously, for us to get a goal in the first period on the PP helped the morale for everybody," St. Louis said. "But it doesn't feel like the monkey's off our back. There's still a lot of work to be done. We've got to get some wins together."
Notes: Kings LW Luc Robitaille played in his 1,400th regular-season game, something only 22 other players have done. The 19-year veteran has 660 goals, the most among left wings in NHL history. Second on the goal-scoring list at that position is Dave Andreychuk, who was waived by Tampa Bay on Jan. 10. ... The Lightning have won nine of the 12 games they've played against the Kings in Los Angeles. Their only loss was on Nov. 6, 1997.
|PPG - Martin St. Louis (17) ASST: Brad Richards (31), Vincent Lecavalier (23)|
1 - 0 TBL
|Dustin Brown (9) ASST: Sean Avery (17), Nathan Dempsey (8)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Vincent Lecavalier (19) ASST: Martin St. Louis (19), Pavel Kubina (14)|
2 - 1 TBL
|Ruslan Fedotenko (12) ASST: Vinny Prospal (32), Evgeny Artyukhin (10)|
3 - 1 TBL
|EN - Norman Milley (1) ASST: Tim Taylor (5), Vinny Prospal (33)|
4 - 1 TBL
|Tom Kostopoulos Fighting (maj) against Cory Sarich|
|Cory Sarich Fighting (maj) against Tom Kostopoulos|
|Mattias Norstrom Hooking against Freddy Modin|
|Evgeny Artyukhin Hooking against Derek Armstrong|
|George Parros Too many men/ice - bench|
|Denis Grebeshkov Boarding against Rob DiMaio|
|Sean Avery Hi-sticking against Pavel Kubina|
|Sean Avery Hi-sticking against Pavel Kubina|
|Rob DiMaio Broken stick|
|Paul Ranger Tripping against Mike Cammalleri|
|Paul Ranger Holding against Mike Cammalleri|
|Richard Petiot Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Nolan Pratt Holding against Mike Cammalleri|