In the only action of the day involving the Lightning players at the 2012 IIHF World Championships, Team USA defeated Belarus 5-2 to vault into third place in Group A with a 3-0-0-2 record for eight points.
The Lightning's JT Brown and Team USA celebrate a 5-2 win over Belarus.
Both Lightning forwards representing the American side both had big showings on Thursday, as Nate Thompson scored a goal on his only shot of the game, and also earned a plus-1 rating in 10:44 of ice time.
Thursday’s goal marked the second of the tournament for the United States’ alternate captain.
His Bolts teammate, meanwhile, JT Brown, finally broke through to mark the score sheet for the first time in the tournament, as he recorded an assist on a goal by Justin Abdelkader.
In addition to registering one shot on goal and a plus-2 rating, which tied for second on the team, Brown also nearly had his first goal of the tournament on an in-close chance, but was turned back by goaltender Vitali Koval.
Regardless, the Americans still managed to cruise to a victory, which served as a nice warm-up for another match on Friday against Kazakhstan.
Teddy Purcell and Victor Hedman will also return to the ice on Friday, as Team Canada will take on Finland and Team Sweden will face Russia.
All Team USA games can be viewed on the NBC Sports Network, while fans may tune in to TSN to catch Team Canada.
TEAM USA: Tom Mulligan's latest diary entry TEAM CANADA: Teddy Purcell's latest notebook entry