The Tampa Bay Lightning used a second-period outburst to punish Atlanta in a 7-1 victory on Sunday, continuing their supremacy over the Thrashers.
Tampa Bay blitzed Atlanta with five unanswered goals in the second en route to a sixth straight victory over the Thrashers this season and 11th straight overall.
“Sometimes that’s the way it is,” Simon Gagne told reporters about Tampa Bay’s domination of Atlanta. “For us this year, we’ve had their number. These are not easy games to win, but tonight I think we took advantage of their schedule.”
Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-leading 38th goal of the season and took over sole possession of the league scoring lead, while Nate Thompson, Dana Tyrell, Martin St Louis and Gagne also added goals for Tampa Bay in the second period.
Gagne tacked on his second goal of the game in the third period where Pavel Kubina also scored for the Lightning (30-15-5), who have won four straight and lead the Southeast Division by three points over the Washington Capitals.
Lightning Goaltender Dwayne Roloson made 21 saves, but his shutout bid was spoiled when Rich Peverley scored Atlanta’s only goal with about four minutes left in the game.
The Thrashers (23-19-9) have lost seven of their last eight games and have not beaten Tampa Bay since 2009.
Led by All-Star Stamkos, the Lightning continue to roll.
Stamkos has scored seven goals in his past six games, while claiming sole possession of the NHL points lead from Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, who has missed eight consecutive games because of a concussion.
FLYERS 4, BLACKHAWKS 1
In Chicago, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Chicago Blackhawks in the only regular-season rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup finals combatants.
Jeff Carter had two goals and an assist, rookie Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves, while Nikolay Zherdev and Scott Hartnell also scored for Chicago.
Bobrovsky lost a bid for his first career shutout in the third period when Marian Hossa scored on a penalty shot. Philadelphia improved to a league-leading 69 points and are 9-2-0 in their past 11.
Defending Stanley Cup champions Chicago lost in regulation for the first time since Jan. 5.
PREDATORS 3, OILERS 2, SO
In Edmonton, Canada, Cody Franson scored the lone shootout goal, while Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne turned aside all three Edmonton shooters.
Rinne got a huge break in overtime after losing his stick on a wild scramble on an Edmonton power-play. Shawn Horcoff beat Rinne with a diving backhander, but the puck struck the unattended stick on the goal-line and deflected out. A video review confirmed the puck didn’t fully cross the line.
The Predators have won three straight, all on the road. The Oilers, last in the conference, have dropped five in a row.
Nashville defenseman Alexander Sulzer opened the scoring midway through the first period, which held until Andrew Cogliano tied it early in the third.
Joel Ward gave Nashville a 2-1 lead on a power-play with 5 minutes, 55 seconds left, but Oilers rookie Taylor Hall tied it with 3 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in regulation.
SABRES 5, ISLANDERS 3
In Uniondale, New York, Nathan Gerbe snapped a tie early in the third period with a power-play goal, lifting Buffalo over New York.
With drama and intrigue surrounding the Islanders one day after they claimed veteran goalie Evgeni Nabokov off waivers from Detroit, New York were unable to beat Buffalo for the third time in nine days.
The Islanders claimed the 35-year-old Nabokov off waivers on Saturday. Nabokov had his heart set on joining the contending Red Wings and has so far decided not to report to the lowly Islanders.
DEVILS 5, PANTHERS 2
In Newark, New Jersey, Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists, while Jason Arnott scored twice as resurgent New Jersey extended their winning streak to four by defeating Florida.
Brian Rolston and Patrik Elias also scored for the Devils, who have picked up points in seven straight games.
The Devils are trying to climb out of a huge hole. They fell to the bottom of the NHL standings with a 10-29-2 record before the hot streak, a slide that cost coach John MacLean his job just before Christmas.
Shawn Matthias and Marty Reasoner scored for the Panthers, who have dropped four in a row.
SWEEP THE LEG: Poirier, determined to best McGregor, after losing to him in 2014, used low calf kicks to throw ‘Notorious’ off his stand-up game, before dropping him American underdog Dustin Poirier yesterday shook up the world of mixed martial arts, beating up the legs of Irish superstar Conor McGregor before knocking him out at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. “I’m happy, but I’m not surprised. I put in the work,” Poirier said, after the referee stepped in after 2 minutes, 32 seconds of the second round to save McGregor from further damage, after he was dropped by a fierce combination of punches. The 32-year-old Poirier was ranked second in the flyweight division going into the fight, but still rated a heavy underdog by bookmakers to beat his fourth-ranked opponent,
World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying yesterday eased past her Thai opponent to advance to the second round of the Toyota Thailand Open. The Taiwanese star toppled world No. 46 Supanida Katethong 21-16, 21-11 in 29 minutes at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. “I think I played OK today. I am feeling a little better than last week,” Tai said. Tomorrow, Tai faces Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. The two have faced each other six times, with Tai beating the world No. 21 in all six matches. Tai on Sunday reached the final of the Yonex Thailand Open before losing decisively against Carolina Marin of Spain.
LOOKING TO REPEAT: World No. 7 Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin advanced to the round-of-16 at the Toyota Thailand Open, after winning the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday Taiwan’s world No. 7 duo yesterday eased past the US’ world No. 37 pairing at the Toyota Thailand Open to reach the round-of-16 in Bangkok. Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin beat Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew 21-14, 21-11 in just 24 minutes. Lee and Wang, who won the men’s doubles title at the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday, next face the world No. 34 pairing, Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura. In men’s singles, Taiwan’s world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen again beat Thailand’s world No. 45 Suppanyu Avihingsanon, after edging past the Thai player in the opening round of the Yonex
Three new COVID-19 cases yesterday hit the Australian Open’s troubled buildup as a backlash grew against international tennis players flown in during a raging pandemic. Two of the new cases were players, state health officials said, taking the total infections to seven since more than 1,000 people arrived in largely COVID-19-free Australia on charter flights last week. The Victoria Department of Health and Human Services said that the two players and a third person associated with the tournament — a woman in her 20s, and two men in their 30s — had returned positive results. The year’s first Grand Slam, delayed three weeks,