Chris O'Meara/APSharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) celebrates with defenseman Brent Burns after the team defeated the Lightning 2-1 Thursday.

Niemi sparks Sharks to win over Lightning

TAMPA, Fla. — Antti Niemi made 32 saves and added an assist as the Sharks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Thursday.

Joe Thornton and Tyler Kennedy scored for the Sharks, who are 2-2 on a seven-game road trip. Niemi improved to 5-0-1 against the Lightning.

Tampa Bay got a goal from Steven Stamkos, and Ben Bishop stopped 37 shots. The Lightning are 0-1-1 since their six-game winning streak was snapped.

Shortly after Niemi made a nifty save on Ryan Callahan, Thornton put the Sharks up 1-0 at 5:23 of the second. Thornton tied Bobby Clarke for 42nd place all-time with his 1,210th point.

Kennedy made it 2-0 on a breakaway with 9:23 left in the second. Brent Burns and Niemi assisted on Kennedy’s first goal in 30 games, dating to Jan. 14.

Stamkos cut the Lightning’s deficit to 2-1 on a redirection of Andrej Sustr’s shot 9:35 into the third.

Niemi had three saves on Callahan during a 5-on-3 power play that lasted just over a minute earlier in the third.

San Jose outshot the Lightning 17-9 during a scoreless first period. San Jose had six shots during a power play on Bishop, who also stopped an in-close chance by Joe Pavelski.

NOTES: Stamkos, who broke his right leg one year ago, didn’t take part in the morning skate. … Thornton played in his 1,225th NHL game, which is one away from tying Ed Westfall for 90th place all time. … Thornton has 16 goals and 39 points in 35 games against the Lightning. … Tampa Bay C Tyler Johnson, who left Tuesday’s game at Chicago after being cross-checked in the ribs, played. … Lightning C Alex Killorn returned after missing four games due to an upper body injury. … Tampa Bay RW Brett Connolly missed his ninth game because of a lower body injury but could return in the next week.

Antti NiemiHockeySan Jose SharksTampa Bay Lightning

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