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Lightning Continue To Struggle Out West; Fall 5-1 To The Sharks

JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Tommy Wingels scored two goals and Patrick Marleau added a goal and two assists to help the San Jose Sharks get their first home win in more than a month with a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

Brad Stuart and Brent Burns also scored for the Sharks, who looked well-rested after having three days off following a winding, five-game road trip in which they changed time zones after every game. Antti Niemi made 36 saves and Logan Couture had three assists.

Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning, who dropped their season-worst third straight game on a rough West Coast trip that ends Friday night in Anaheim. Tampa Bay has been outscored 16-6 in losses to Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Jose as they are struggling since losing star center Steven Stamkos to a broken right leg last week.

Since beating Calgary on Oct. 19, the Sharks have gone on a pair of five-game road trips around a winless three-game homestand that featured a pair of shootout losses. They found their winning touch at home again at the start of a season-long five-game homestand.

Wingels played a big part in his first career two-goal game. He got the scoring started early in the first period and then with the Lightning making a strong push in the second, Wingels added his second goal.

Marleau found him with a slick pass from behind the net and Wingels one-timed it past Anders Lindback on the short side for his seventh goal of the season. That’s one shy of his career total in 80 games coming into the season.

San Jose broke it open with two goals in a 19-second span early in the third. Burns, back after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury, got the first when Joe Thornton’s deflection of Scott Hannan’s shot-pass hit his leg on the way into the net.

Marleau then scored his 11th goal following the next faceoff to make it 5-0.

Lindback, making his fifth start of the season in place of Ben Bishop, made 31 saves but got no offensive support in the loss.

The Sharks got off to another fast start with two goals in the first period. San Jose has outscored the opposition 30-12 in the first, a big part of the team’s success in the first quarter of the season.

Couture’s line got the Sharks started as Couture and Marleau won a battle in the corner to set up Wingels for his sixth goal of the season.

The Lightning had their chances in the first period, including a power play when they spent the entire 2 minutes in the offensive zone but Niemi stopped all three shots.

Stuart added to the lead late in the period with a point shot that beat Lindback on the short side for his second of the season.

NOTES: Jim Craig, the goaltender on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that won the gold medal, got a warm ovation when he was interviewed after the second period. … The Sharks avoided their first four-game home losing streak since dropping six straight in 2010-11. … The Sharks improved to 8-0-1 with Burns in the lineup. … The Lightning had won their first seven games against Western Conference teams before losing three straight on this trip.

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