As Shawn Matthias darted through a pair of Lightning defenders, the Florida forward took a pass on his stick and skated in alone for a breakaway on Tampa Bay goaltender Anders Lindback.

A fragile Lightning team was holding onto a one-goal lead late Tuesday when Matthias broke into the Tampa Bay zone. The lead remained intact after Lindback, looking more confident and comfortable than in recent games, came up with the point-blank stop against Matthias.

"I tried to be patient," Lindback said.

It proved one of those snapshot moments that stand out in the course of a game. Recently, those moments have been for the wrong reasons for Lindback. On Tuesday, it was for the right reason.

"What I liked on that, he wasn't back in his net, he wasn't deep in his net and he challenged him," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "Even if (Matthias) had scored, I would have liked the fact that he was challenging him. And when you are scared to lose, you back up."

The hope is that Lindback's 37-save performance in Tuesday's 3-2 win against the Panthers will help him take a step forward and perhaps carry over into today's home game against the New York Islanders.

"It's big for me, and that's what I need to bring to the team every game," Lindback said. "It's going to be more of these tight games (down the stretch). It's my job to step up and give the team a chance to win, so I'm really happy about that."