The Lightning gave up an early goal, but then scored two in each period. Brian Boyle scored two in the first period and Alex Killorn scored two in the third. In between, Braydon Coburn and Andrej Sustr scored goals.
Goaltender Ben Bishop faced only 22 shots. Three of them went in, including goals by T.J. Brodie and Michael Ferland in a 21-second flurry.
“You sit there and the puck goes into the net three minutes into the game, but there was one thing probably in our last couple of weeks here where our heads are down,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “But nobody batted an eye on that, and I thought that was big. Ultimately, and every coach will tell you, you need your goalie to be there for you. And he was there for us tonight, there’s no question. Even when they got those bang-bang goals in the third, to come up with that save on Bennett, who knows what happens if that goes in. He didn’t have to make a ton of saves tonight, but he made the right one and that was big.”
Cooper liked getting goals from his defense.
“I tell you what it does, it really lifts the guys on the bench because, I don’t know, guys are really pulling for those guys,” Cooper said. “You can just tell, there’s just a weight off their shoulders because it makes them feel part of things. It was a total team effort tonight. You’re missing, (Kucherov) is out, and we lost Palat early in the second period and obviously Stamkos is out, you need to get goals from somebody, and when you’re getting them from everybody, it was a confidence builder for us. It was really good to see.”
Killorn said the Lightning were a desperate team.
“I think when you lose eight out of 10 games, there has to be a desperation level,” Killorn said. “I think the coaches have done a good job keeping it somewhat loose but everyone knows how important games are. You see yourself in the standings and you keep falling, so we have to get right back on track and I think this was a good game starting in that direction.”
The Lightning played without leading scorer Nikita Kucherov.
Tampa Bay plays at Vancouver Friday night and Edmonton Saturday night.
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