TAMPA, Fla. - Rick Tocchet finally got into the win column after two tough losses.
Vincent Lecavalier had two goals to help Tocchet, Tampa Bay's interim coach, get his first NHL victory in the Lightning's 4-1 win over Nashville on Friday night. "It's great," Tocchet said. "It's like scoring your first NHL goal. The last couple games and how hard we worked, it was nice to get the win."
Mark Recchi and Vinny Prospal also scored to help the Lightning snap a five-game losing streak. Tocchet, who replaced the fired Barry Melrose on Nov. 14, lost his first two games as Tampa Bay's coach in shootouts.
"Our last three games, I think, we've had a lot of energy," Lecavalier said.
Tampa Bay left wing Ryan Malone returned after missing the previous four games because of a lower-body injury and had three assists. However, he left in the second as a precautionary measure after experiencing soreness.
Jordin Tootoo scored for Nashville. The Predators are winless in five games at Tampa Bay since a 3-0 win over the Lightning on March 24, 1999.
"They won the game because of everything we did," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We turned the puck over. We made bad decisions. Some guys played poorly. There's no where to hide right now. Some guys are going to have to get their game up or they will not be playing or they will be moved on."
Nashville captain Jason Arnott was in the starting lineup just four days after an on-ice collision Monday night that resulted in a neck strain.
"I felt OK," Arnott said. "It's still a little sore and a little stiff, but it loosens up once you get your adrenaline going and you get going into the game."
Lecavalier put the Lightning ahead 1-0 with a rebound goal during a power play at 4:57 of the first. He made it 2-0 from the slot just over two minutes later.
After Tootoo scored at 10:40, Tampa Bay went ahead 3-1 on Recchi's goal with 7:43 left in the first. Recchi has 1,394 points, which ties him for 19th place on the NHL's career list with Luc Robitaille.
"I don't think they came out as hard as us," Lecavalier said. "We took control, and when we shot the puck it went in."
Prospal extended the Lightning's advantage to 4-1 at 6:32 of the second.
"It's great for them to be able to get a win for their coach, and I'm sure their coach really appreciates that, but in the same sense we've got to give our coach a little something to be happy about, too," said Nashville goalie Dan Ellis, who stopped 20 shots. "It just came down to poor decisions. We're making basic hockey very difficult hockey."
Lightning goalie Mike Smith made 34 saves.
Tampa Bay rookie centre Steven Stamkos had two assists. The first overall pick in this year's draft has assisted on three goals in the past two games after failing to record a point in eight straight games.
Martin St. Louis, who set up Lecavalier's second goal, got cut near the left eye by the puck in the first period and left the game. He returned for the start of the second after getting 23 stitches.
Notes: Tampa Bay C Chris Gratton (lower body) and LW Gary Roberts (upper body) didn't play. D Lukas Krajicek left the game with a lower body injury ... Tootoo stopped a personal 10-game goal drought.