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St. Louis scores twice to lead Lightning past Thrashers 4-1 @NHLdotcom

ATLANTA - Martin St. Louis scored twice, and Mike Smith made 27 saves to help the Tampa Bay Lightning move out of last place in the Southeast Division with a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday night.

Tampa Bay (11-18-10) has 32 points, one more than Atlanta (13-22-5).

Smith's shutout bid ended with 21.2 seconds left when Erik Christensen scored off a rebound during a scramble in front of the net.

Steve Eminger and Ryan Malone also scored for Tampa Bay, which had lost six straight games in Atlanta. The Lightning were 2-for-4 on the power play, with Eminger scoring with a man-advantage in the first period and St. Louis early in the third.

Bryan Little, Atlanta's leader with 19 goals, left the game in the second period because of a rib injury and didn't return. The 21-year-old forward played just 5:44 and didn't have a shot.

Tampa Bay, which came in on a three-game losing streak, cashed in on a power play just 2:48 into the game. It was the third goal of the season for Eminger, who took a pass from Jussi Jokinen and beat Lehtonen with a shot from near the right faceoff circle. The Atlanta goalie appeared to be screened by Thrashers defenceman Boris Valabik on the play. The goal came 54 seconds after Mathieu Schneider was called for hooking.

St. Louis made it a two-goal edge for the Lightning with 3:20 remaining in the second period. Vincent Lecavalier faked a slap shot from the right faceoff circle and passed into the slot to St. Louis, who tipped the puck past Lehtonen.

St. Louis' second goal came on a power play a minute into the third period. Vaclav Prospal carried the puck in behind the net and passed back in front to St. Louis, who put a quick shot by Lehtonen for his 14th goal of the season. Tobias Enstrom had put the Lightning on the power play on a tripping penalty with 4 seconds left in the second period.

Malone scored his 10 goal with 1:44 left in the game, knocking his own rebound in off Lehtonen's skate. Lehtonen made 31 saves.

Tampa Bay's last victory in Atlanta was a 5-4 overtime decision in overtime on Feb. 22, 2007. The Lightning lost the final game of that season in Atlanta, all four games last season and a 4-3 decision on Dec. 20 in their first visit this season.

Atlanta, which beat Vancouver 4-3 in a shootout on Friday night, hasn't won consecutive games since a five-game winning streak in early November. The Thrashers are 6-14-3 since.

Notes: Tampa Bay D Andrej Meszaros played despite needing 64 stitches to close a gash under his nose suffered when he was hit by a puck Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Carolina. He wore a full face shield. ... Atlanta rookie D Zach Bogosian, who played one game after returning from a broken leg, was sent to Chicago (AHL) on a conditioning assignment. ... The Thrashers will play their next three games on the road. ... The Lightning opened a five-game trip.

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