At some point waves come to a crest before ultimately crashing down.

Perhaps in some way that is what the Lightning are experiencing heading into tonight's game at New Jersey.

The offense was coming so fast and furious (37 goals through seven games) in the first two-plus weeks of the season, many wondered if that pace could be sustained.

But since scoring five or more goals in four straight games, capped with an eight-goal outburst against Winnipeg on Friday, Tampa Bay has scored just three goals in the past two games, both losses.

"That's what I was scared of because I have seen it so many times throughout the course of my hockey career as a player and as a coach. Those big scoring games don't help you at all,'' Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said.

"They are fun, but they don't help you because you get the feeling you are very powerful offensively and things are going to come. And then it scares the opponent even more. The opponent is absolutely at their best defensively and have numbers back all the time and don't give you an inch.''

Even though the expectation is that goals will be more difficult to come by, it doesn't make it easy to deal with when the opportunities are less frequent. That means Tampa Bay is going to have to go back to a patient, aggressive approach to find a way to win the close games.

"You can't expect to score five goals every night,'' captain Vinny Lecavalier said. "You have to expect tight games and if you look at the (numbers), games are tight. They are 2-1 or 3-2 all the time. So we just have to get back to doing the things that we were doing, play more in the (offensive) zone than we have in the past two games.''

Certainly the past two opponents — Philadelphia and the New York Rangers — have been able to hem Tampa Bay into its defensive zone more than some of the previous opponents. And with the offensive talent Tampa Bay possesses up front, the more time the Lightning spend on the attack, the odds increase that a goal will be scored.

But at the same time, there have been chances generated that have not been capitalized on.

Steven Stamkos had a one-timer in the slot on Tuesday against Philadelphia, while Cory Conacher had another opportunity on a rebound that was earmarked for the back of the net before Ilya Bryzgalov reached back and swatted the puck over the crossbar.