"I'm not going to dissect the game tonight because we were outplayed and the best thing about tonight is we play tomorrow and we can push this one right out [of our minds]. We stunk tonight! It was an embarrassing loss! Let's leave it at that."
Tortorella, fired by Tampa Bay following the 2007-08 season, spent seven seasons with the Lightning, leading them to the 2004 Stanley Cup title.
"Smitty's played well for us," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "He's really squaring the puck, and when he's quiet, he's really hard to get around."
Stamkos scored 6 minutes into the game, beating Henrik Lundqvist with a wrist shot off a pass from St. Louis. Rookie defenseman Victor Hedman also assisted on the goal.
"We played our best 60 minutes as a team in a long time," St. Louis said. "I think everybody backed each other whenever it got physical and we played together as a whole in every facet."
The Lightning added two power-play goals against a Rangers team that has the top-ranked penalty-killing unit in the NHL.
Foster scored on a slap shot in the first period, and Downie added his third goal of the season 8 minutes into the second.
"We've wanted to keep Foster in the line up," Tocchet said. "He had a couple of goals, but he made some defensive plays down in the zone, too."
Foster, who has just three goals this season, didn't think the team's play had anything to do with Tortorella's presence, but the team stepped up after a poor performance against Toronto on Wednesday night.
"It wasn't much of Tortorella being in the building, but there were a lot of us not happy with the game against Toronto," Foster said. "We wanted to bring out A game tonight so we'd get the win."
Szczechura scored his first goal on the season on a second-chance shot, after picking up the rebound from James Wright's initial shot. Lundqvist gave up four goals on 22 shots before giving way to Steve Valiquette with 7 minutes left in the second.
"This is very frustrating," Rangers left wing Sean Avery said. "A game like this frustrates us a lot."
Rangers defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti said the team had a hard time slowing down the Lightning's offense, adding the players had extra energy throughout the game.
"They came out hard from the start," Sanguinetti said. "I think they just wanted it more tonight."
Lightning D Matt Smaby was optioned to Norfolk for a conditioning assignment. ... Lightning D Mattias Ohlund missed his second straight game because of a lower-body injury ... Rangers D Wade Redden was scratched Friday with a shoulder injury.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Tampa Bay Times Forum Location: Tampa, Florida
Referees: Dan Marouelli, Steve Kozari Linesmen: Jonny Murray, Mark Shewchyk
Attendance: 17,608 (89.1% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Steven Stamkos (16)
Assists: Martin St. Louis, Victor Hedman
Kurtis Foster (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier
Steve Downie (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos
Paul Szczechura (1)
Assists: James Wright, Matt Walker
Kurtis Foster (3)
Assist: Zenon Konopka
Ryan Callahan (4)
Assists: Artem Anisimov, Marc Staal