Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 2/1/13
TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Lightning continued all its torrid early season streaks on Friday. And in the process it continued to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Rookie Cory Conacher had two goals and five Lightning players had multi-point games as Tampa Bay increased its NHL-best goals total to 37, won for the fifth straight time and improved to 5-0 at home with an 8-3 thrashing of Southeast Division foe Winnipeg. Tampa Bay (6-1-0) was coming off two days of rest, and it looked refreshed. The Jets (3-4-1) were coming off a disheartening loss on Thursday against a Florida team that had lost five straight. Tampa Bay exploited six Winnipeg penalties and two 5-on-3 opportunities as Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos dissected the league's statistically worst penalty kill for a 3-0 lead after one period. Conacher scored his fourth goal of the season tipping down a Matt Carle blast from the point on the power play with 12:03 left in the period. Stamkos took a pass from St. Louis to smash the puck under goaltender Ondrej Pavelec's arm for a goal to cap a 5-on-3 chance with 5:49 left in the period. St. Louis delivered the key assist again with 3:05 left in the period when he flicked to Lecavalier for a one-timer into a gaping opening on left side of the net. The goal was Tampa Bay's 12th on the power play this season. The onslaught continued into the second period. Conacher added another goal, Nate Thompson recorded his first of the season and Teddy Purcell got his second as his fling to the goal from the boards slid through the skates of Pavelec, who was then replaced by Al Montoya. The Jets got a tally from Tobias Enstrom and power play goals from Paul Postma and Andrew Ladd in the third period. Ryan Malone and Benoit Pouliot countered for the Lightning. NOTES: Conacher has at least a point in five of six games. ... Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (three goals, seven points) missed his second straight game after aggravating a lower-body body injury in a morning skate on Thursday as Winnipeg prepared to play Florida. ... Tampa Bay entered the game 4-0 at home and a winner of four consecutive overall. ... Lightning defenseman Sami Salo, who entered the game leading the league in plus-minus rating (+10), left after being checked from behind into the boards by Chris Thorburn in the first period. Thorburn was assessed a five-minute major, leading to Tampa Bay's second goal. Salo appeared to injure his cheek. ... The Lightning conclude a season-long five-game homestand on Saturday against the Rangers. ... Tampa Bay had not played since Tuesday while Winnipeg lost two leads in falling 6-3 at Florida. The Panthers had dropped five straight games. ... Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey was on the ice for five of the first six Lightning goals, and was in the penalty box for the other ... Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey was on the ice for five of the first six Lightning goals, and was in the penalty box for the other. ... Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback had his second NHL assist.
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