TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Antti Niemi provided some offense in addition to stopping the puck.
Niemi made 32 saves and added an assist as the San Jose Sharks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Thursday night.
Joe Thornton and Tyler Kennedy scored for the Sharks, who are 2-2 on a seven-game road trip. Niemi improved to 5-0-1 against the Lightning.
“As far as complete games, it was one of our better ones of the season,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “I thought there was real positive energy with all four lines. The pairs played well. Nemo made some big saves right off the bat.”
Tampa Bay got a goal from Steven Stamkos, and Ben Bishop stopped 37 shots. The Lightning are 0-1-1 since their six-game winning streak was snapped.
“Their goalie played well,” Bishop said. “If he doesn’t play that well maybe we win that game.”
Shortly after Niemi made a nifty save on Ryan Callahan, Thornton put the Sharks up 1-0 at 5:23 of the second. Thornton tied Bobby Clarke for 42nd place all-time with his 1,210th point.
“Isn’t that amazing?” McLellan said. “You talk about Joe Thornton and Bobby Clarke together. They’re both tremendous players.”
Kennedy made it 2-0 on a breakaway with 9:23 left in the second. Brent Burns and Niemi assisted on Kennedy’s first goal in 30 games, dating to Jan. 14.
Stamkos cut the Lightning’s deficit to 2-1 on a redirection of Andrej Sustr’s shot 9:35 into the third.
Niemi had three saves on Callahan during a 5-on-3 power play that lasted just over a minute earlier in the third. Callahan finished with seven shots.
“You know they’re going to get shots,” Niemi said. “You’ve got to be real patient not to play yourself out too far.”
San Jose outshot the Lightning 17-9 during a scoreless first period. San Jose had six shots during a power play on Bishop, who also stopped an in-close chance by Joe Pavelski.
“You make your own luck out there,” Stamkos said. “You have to deserve it and work hard, and we didn’t deserve it for the first two periods. In the third we had some good chances because we played the right way and got rewarded.”
NOTES: Sharks G Alex Stalock, placed on injured reserve Wednesday, had minor surgery on his left knee. … Stamkos, who broke his right leg one year ago, didn’t take part in the morning skate. … Thornton played in his 1,225th NHL game, which is one away from tying Ed Westfall for 90th place all-time. … Thornton has 16 goals and 39 points in 35 games against the Lightning. … Tampa Bay C Tyler Johnson, who left Tuesday’s game at Chicago after being cross-checked in the ribs, played. … Lightning C Alex Killorn returned after missing four games due to an upper body injury. … Tampa Bay RW Brett Connolly missed his ninth game because of a lower body injury but could return in the next week.
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