Lightning shut out playoff-seeking BlackhawksApr 4, 2011 - 6:08 AM
With 99 points, Tampa Bay will finish no lower than fifth in the Eastern Conference. It is one point back of Pittsburgh for the fourth spot and four points back of Washington for the top spot in the Southeast Division. All three teams have three games to play.
Vincent Lecavalier scored in the first period while Nate Thompson added an empty-netter for the Lightning, who have won five straight.
Corey Crawford stopped 13 shots for the Blackhawks, who had won four of six coming in.
"We chased the puck maybe a little bit too much. But give them credit, they played smart defensively," said Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews.
Chicago is holding on to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 92 points, one more than Calgary, which defeated Colorado on Sunday.
Skating on the power play, Tampa got the only goal it needed at the 7:56 mark. Martin St. Louis passed from the right side to the front, where Lecavalier jammed it home for his 21st goal of the year.
Smith made 18 stops through the first two periods, then stopped 13 in the third while helping to kill two Chicago power plays.
Thompson put the puck into the empty net with 22 seconds to play to seal the victory.
Tampa plays at Buffalo on Tuesday, when Chicago plays in Montreal...Tampa won both games against Chicago this season, including a 4-3 shootout win at home on March 9...Smith has 11 shutouts in his career.
- TAMPA BAY: 2
Apr 3 9:32 PM
- Tampa Bay Empty Net Goal - Nate Thompson, at 19:38.
Lightning 2, Blackhawks 0 3rd - 0:22Apr 3 9:31 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 1
End of 2nd
Apr 3 8:35 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 1
End of 1st
Apr 3 7:44 PM
- Tampa Bay Power-Play Goal - Vincent Lecavalier (21), at 7:56.
Lightning 1, Blackhawks 0 1st - 12:04Apr 3 7:20 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Apr 3 7:11 PM
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