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Lightning snap three-game losing streak

Oct 15, 2006 - 2:36 AM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Martin St. Louis picked a good time to break out of his scoring slump.

St. Louis snapped a second-period tie and Ruslan Fedotenko added a goal and an assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning ended a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers.

The 2003-04 Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner, St. Louis had not recorded a point in his first four outings. However, he scored one of two power-play goals for the Lightning, who avenged Friday's 3-2 loss to the Panthers.

"We know we have the guys to work out of our offensive funk," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "Tonight, we got some key bounces and everything went right for us."

"It's good to be rewarded for hard work," St. Louis said. "We've been trying to fight out of this offensive start we've had, but it isn't for lack of trying."

St. Louis put Tampa Bay on top for good at 8:30 of the second period while Florida's Gary Roberts was serving an interference penalty. He knocked in a rebound of defenseman Dan Boyle's shot in the slot, beating goaltender Ed Belfour.

"When your offense isn't going well, you just have to stick to your game plan and keep on working out of it," St. Louis said. "That's what we talked about and that's what we tried to do. We just wanted to keep everything real simple."

Fedotenko netted his second tally of the campaign at 9:02 of the third session with a wrister from the right faceoff circle. Dmitry Afanasenkov added his first goal of the campaign just 22 seconds later on a wraparound shot between Belfour's pads.

"We came up with big plays when we needed them the most and worked hard to make a lot of things happen offensively," Fedotenko said. "The play and pass by (Ryan) Craig on my play was just a super look."

"I just missed the wraparound goal," Belfour said. "I never really got a chance to see it."

Vincent Lecavalier scored for the second consecutive game and Marc Denis made 23 saves to raise his record to 2-2-0 for the Lightning.

"With the strong offensive-minded scorers on this team, you know it's just a matter of time before they work out of it," Denis said. "And you could see that happening tonight. They were starting to work on that offense."

Stephen Weiss netted the Panthers' lone goal in the first period and Belfour stopped 32 shots. Florida is winless in three road contests this season and lost for the second time in its last nine encounters with Tampa Bay.

"It just wasn't good enough," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "I thought that we had a good first period, but after that we just took too many penalties. They outworked us and ... they deserved to win the game.

"We gave away too many chances and got out of our system. I thought Belfour gave us a chance to win, but we didn't give him a chance."






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