Lightning slaughter Thrashers 7-1, sweep season series

"We talked about it before the game tonight," Thompson said. "We had a great opportunity to sweep a series against a team in our division tonight. For the most part, we did a good job against them tonight and this year. They are a good hockey team. You never know, there is a chance we may see them again at the end of the year. We just have to keep it going now."

Once the Lightning got it going, they kept their collective foot on the gas. In the second period, they scored five goals, one short of a franchise record. After Thompson, Dana Tyrell, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and Simon Gagne all contributed to the onslaught of goals. With Stamkos' goal, he over took Sidney Crosby for the NHL points lead.

In the third, already up 5-0, the Lightning continued to pour it on. Pavel Kubina and Gagne both added goals to extend the lead to 7-0, before Rich Peverly added a meaningless Atlanta goal to break up the shutout; the damage had already been done at that point, with the Lightning well on their way to their fourth straight win, in convincing fashion.

"I think we had great work ethic from the start,” head coach Guy Boucher said. "I think we were very solid offensively in the first period and we needed to keep pushing."

It also didn’t hurt for the Lightning to finally have an opportunity to take advantage of another team’s travel schedule. The Thrashers were on the second half of a back-to-back, playing last night in Atlanta.

"When you don’t get any rest, you cant push like that," Boucher said. "What happened to them today happened to us in Pittsburgh. When you play a game the night before and travel and play again the next day, it's extremely difficult to be pushing two days in a row when the opponent isn't."

For the Lightning, it was the perfect way to start a home stand that could go a long way to determining where this team is come April. The Lightning will play Game 2 of the home stand Tuesday night when they take on the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. Game time is at 7:30.

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The season series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Atlanta Thrashers this year was the equivalent of Wile E. Coyote chasing the elusive Roadrunner. On this night, the Thrashers, playing the part of the Coyote, fell off the cliff before they knew what happened to them, and the Tampa Bay Lightning rolled to an easy 7-1 victory, sweeping the season series by winning the sixth and final match-up.

After a quiet first period that saw the teams put a combined 27 shots on goal - but neither team scoring - the Lightning opened the floodgates in the second. Nate Thompson got the Lightning on the board with a short-handed goal - the Lightning's first of the season - to give the Bolts the lead. For Thompson, the unassisted goal was his seventh of the year.

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