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5-goal 2nd fuels Lightning in win over Thrashers

Steven Stamkos notched his NHL-best 38th goal to take over sole possession of the league scoring lead and help the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning win their fourth straight game, 7-1 over the struggling Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday.

The Southeast leaders beat the Thrashers for the 11th straight time, completing a six-game sweep of the season series between the division rivals, who were facing each other for the second time in four days.

Martin St. Louis, Nate Thompson, Dana Tyrell and Simon Gagne joined Stamkos in scoring during a five-goal second period that quickly got away from Atlanta. The Thrashers have dropped seven of their past eight games and haven't beaten Tampa Bay since Oct. 3, 2009.

Thompson and Tyrell began the spree, stunning Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec in the first 2 minutes of the second period. Thompson's short-handed goal snapped a scoreless tie just 14 seconds in, then Tyrell followed with his first goal in 11 games to make it 2-0.

Stamkos hiked it to 3-0 when he redirected St. Louis' shot past Pavelec to move ahead of injured Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby for sole possession of the league points lead with 67. The first-time All-Star has seven goals in his last six games and has been especially tough on Atlanta with nine goals and three assists this season. Crosby has missed eight straight games because of a concussion.

Gagne had a second goal in the third period, when Pavel Kubina also scored for Tampa Bay.

Dwayne Roloson made 21 stops — just nine after the opening period — for the Lightning, who began a 12-game, month-long homestand that matches the longest in NHL history. The California Golden Seals also played 12 consecutive games at home during the 1975-76 season.

When Atlanta's Rich Peverley scored with just over 4 minutes remaining, the 41-year-old Roloson lost a bid for his third shutout in nine starts since Tampa Bay acquired him in a trade from the New York Islanders on New Year's Day.

The Thrashers played without left wing Andrew Ladd (lower body) and defenseman Tobias Enstrom (hand), who had his franchise-record streak for consecutive games played end at 296. Both players were injured during Atlanta's 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

NOTES: Stamkos has 16 goals in 18 career games against the Thrashers. ... Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone was scratched because of a mid-body injury. ... Atlanta's Dustin Byfuglien, who share's Atlanta's scoring lead with Enstrom, has no points in his last nine games. ... The Lightning, in their 50th game, became the last team in the league to score a short-handed goal. ... The Lightning record for goals in a period is six, set against Winnipeg on Dec. 19, 1995.