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Mike Smith gets first win of season as Lightning beat Sharks 5-2

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Mike Smith gets first win of season as Lightning beat Sharks 5-2

The Canadian Press
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TAMPA, Fla. - Mike Smith won for the first time in nine months, James Wright scored his first NHL goal and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Thursday night.

Smith, who missed the final 32 games last season due to post concussion syndrome, made 32 saves to stop a personal six-game losing streak in his first victory since Jan. 27.

Steven Stamkos had two goals and Andrej Meszaros and also scored for the Lightning, who were outscored 11-2 in losing their previous two games.

San Jose got goals from Ryan Vesce and Dan Boyle. The Sharks are 2-2 during a six-game trip.

Wright's first goal - in the eighth game of his rookie season - came from the low slot off a pass from Martin St. Louis just 30 seconds into the game. St. Louis has started the season with a point in eight consecutive, picking up nine assists and 12 points over the stretch.

Malone made it 2-0 when he redirected David Hale's shot for his seventh goal this season with 4:59 left in the first.

San Jose got to 2-1 on Vesce's goal from in-close at 12:34 of the second. He has a goal in three straight games.

Tampa Bay went ahead 3-1 with 3:21 to go in the second on Stamkos' fifth goal of the season. Meszaros extended the Tampa Bay advantage to three goals early in the third.

Boyle had a power-play goal with 6:19 remaining in the third.

Stamkos had an empty-netter during the final minute. Alex Tanguay passed up a chance to score his first goal with Tampa Bay by passing the puck to Stamkos.

Vincent Lecavalier's goal-scoring drought reached 15 consecutive games, dating to March 17. The Lightning captain did get his seventh assist on Wright's goal.

NOTES: San Jose won both games against Tampa Bay last season, outscoring the Lightning 10-1. This was the lone game between the teams this season. ... Stamkos has four goals and six points over the past four games. ... Sharks D Jason Demers assisted on Vesce's goal and has five assists in his last three games. ... Sharks C Joe Thornton tied San Jose GM Doug Wilson and Dave Keon for 74th on the career assists list (590) when he assisted on Boyle's goal.

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Mike Smith gets first win of season as Lightning beat Sharks 5-2