The first period was tough for the Jets, as they spent much of their time in the penalty box. As per usual these past few games the Lightning took advantage, scoring three power play goals. Rookie sensation Cory Conacher started things off, tipping a shot from defensemen Matt Carle past Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. Though not a very physical game, Chris Thorburn‘s hit from behind on Sami Salo, causing Salo to briefly leave the game injured, ended up resulting in two separate 5-on-3 power plays which energized the Lightning. Anders Lindback also had a few nice saves early, keeping things scoreless.
Obviously something was said during the first intermission, as the Lightning came out firing, not showing any sign of the poor second period play which plagued them to start this season. Things began with another goal by Conacher, his second of the night, and kept going from there. Nate Thompson‘s sharp angle goal, his first this season, chased Pavelec midway through. He was replaced by backup Al Montoya who quickly gave up a goal to Teddy Purcell. The defense stayed strong here as well, killing off a couple penalties to preserve the teams 6-0 lead.
Unfortunately, some bad habits cropped up early in the third, leading to two quick Jet goals. Not one to back down this season, the Lightning quickly answered, as a goal by Ryan Malone made it 7-2. Seconds later, the Jets answered back, with Andrew Ladd‘s power play goal making it 7-3. Former Boston Bruin Benoit Pouliot then scored his second goal to close things out.
Now alone atop the Eastern Conference, the Lightning have less than 24 hours to prepare for their first real test this season, tomorrow night at home against the New York Rangers. With Stanley Cup winning coach John Tortorella and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Brad Richards back in the house, things are sure to be rocking. Hopefully that doesn’t deter the Lightning, who aim to end their season-high five game homestand with an unblemished 5-0 record.