Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Santorelli's goal early in the second period proved to be the game-winner in the Nashville Predators' 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Mike Ribeiro and Paul Gaustad also lit the lamp for the Predators, who have won three in a row and now lead idle St. Louis by one point for first place in the Central Division. Pekka Rinne made 28 saves for his 40th win.
"We know we can be better, but it was a good road win," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said.
Vladislav Namestnikov and Brian Boyle scored for the Lightning, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Ben Bishop gave up three goals on 11 shots before being replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made eight saves.
"We held a 100-point team to under 20 shots, and they didn't get much the whole night," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said.
Tampa Bay, which sits second in the Atlantic Division, failed to clinch a playoff spot. The Lightning needed a win of any kind combined with a loss of any kind by the Boston Bruins against the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks beat the Bruins in overtime.
Ribeiro gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 3:28 of the first period when he tipped Roman Josi's point shot past Bishop. Gaustad lit the lamp just 40 seconds later when he batted a rebound out of the air past Bishop.
Tampa Bay got on the board with 28.8 seconds left in the opening stanza. Namestnikov snuck a wrap-around goal past Rinne.
Nashville went ahead 3-1 at 6:47 of the second when Santorelli put his own rebound past Bishop.
The Lightning got within one again at 13:19 when Boyle scored off J.T. Brown's pass from behind the net.
Rinne made 11 saves in the final frame to secure the victory.
Nashville forward James Neal (upper body) missed his sixth straight game ... Lightning forward Cedric Paquette returned to the lineup Thursday after missing six games with an upper-body injury ... Each team went 0-for-5 on the power play.