NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Tampa Bay
(Thursday, October 22nd)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, San Jose 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Steven Stamkos lit the lamp twice to lead Tampa Bay past San Jose, 5-2, at St. Pete Times Forum.
James Wright, Ryan Malone and Andrej Meszaros also tallied for the Lightning, who had dropped five of seven to begin the season.
"We know this is a good thing, with this kind of effort I like our chances in a bunch of games this year," said Lightning forward Martin St. Louis of his club's will to win.
Mike Smith earned his first win of the year by making 32 saves for Tampa Bay, which last topped San Jose on March 24, 2003 and snapped a five-game winless streak over its opponent from northern California.
Ryan Vesce and Dan Boyle scored for the Sharks, who had won two in a row on the road over the Rangers and Islanders prior to the setback.
Evgeni Nabokov took the loss after allowing four goals on just 24 shots.
Meszaros, usually a third-line grinder, gave Tampa Bay a 4-1 cushion less than three minutes into the third period and the home team held until Boyle cut into San Jose's deficit with 6:19 left in regulation.
Stamkos put the clincher into an empty net with 19 seconds to play.
"We're not playing anywhere near as well as we should," said Sharks defenseman Rob Blake. "We haven't yet established the type of team we're gonna be and what style we're gonna play."
Wright notched his first pro goal just 30 seconds into the contest, and Malone doubled the advantage with just under five minutes to play in the first period.
Vesce brought the Sharks within one with just under 7 1/2 minutes to play in the second period, then Stamkos followed his own fanned shot and beat Nabokov from the slot for a 3-1 game at 16:39.
The Lightning hadn't beaten the Sharks in Florida since a 4-2 decision on November 15, 2002...Smith began the season 0-2-2...Tampa Bay welcomes Buffalo on Saturday and San Jose continues its six-game road trip in Atlanta, also on Saturday.
10/22 23:16:09 ET