Lightning 4, Predators 2
TAMPA, Fla. -- With a backup goalie in net, the Tampa Bay Lightning came through with four goals on Thursday night, helping Anders Lindback to a victory against his former team as the Lightning beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Lindback (3-6-1) had the lead from the opening three minutes and posted 19 saves in the first two periods against the team that traded him to Tampa before last season.
The Lightning (21-11-3) continued their strong play on home ice, having gone 8-1-1 in the last 10 games in Tampa. The Predators (16-16-3) dropped back to .500.
The Lightning jumped out to an early lead. Center Alex Killorn scored just 2:25 into the game, putting a defender on his back with a stop move and then waiting as Nashville defenseman Seth Jones screened goalie Carter Hutton before flicking the puck just to Jones' left and Hutton's right for a 1-0 lead.
In the final minute of the first period, right winger Martin St. Louis made it 2-0 for Tampa Bay, getting his 14th goal of the season to tie center Steven Stamkos for the team lead.
Twice in the second period, the Predators got scores from center Craig Smith to get within a goal, only to give up a score shortly after.
Smith's 11th goal of the season made it 2-1 with 13:24 left in the second period, but less than two minutes later, right winger Teddy Purcell took a centering pass from Valtteri Filppula for his eighth goal of the season and a 3-1 lead.
With 6:58 left in the second period, Smith struck again for his 12th goal of the season on a power play, but this time, it was only 49 seconds later that the Lightning answered, with right winger Richard Panik getting his second goal of the season. Defenseman Eric Brewer notched his 250th career point with an assist on the score. Hutton was pulled after the fourth goal and replaced by Marek Mazanec.
Nashville came into the game ninth in the NHL on the power play, scoring on 19.6 percent of their opportunities. The Lightning had allowed only 19 power-play goals in 34 games, but their penalty kill gave up two in the same period.
The Lightning stay home to host Carolina on Saturday and play Monday at Florida before a five-day break. The Predators return home for two games before Christmas, playing host to Montreal on Saturday and Boston on Monday.
NOTES: RW Martin St. Louis' first-period goal was his 14th of the season, tying him for the Lightning team lead with C Steven Stamkos, who has missed more than half the season with a broken leg. Stamkos is skating again and hopes to play in the Olympics in February. ... Nashville came into the night with the second-fewest goals in the NHL (78). Only the Buffalo Sabres, who had the NHL's worst record, had fewer goals (59). ... One assist on the opening goal went to D Jean-Philippe Cote, who was making his Lightning debut. The 31-year-old veteran earned his first NHL point. He played eight games with the Montreal Canadiens in 2005-06, his only other NHL action.