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Lecavalier scores in overtime to lift Lightning

Nov 9, 2006 - 3:23 AM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Vincent Lecavalier again struck against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Lecavalier scored on a breakaway 2:41 into overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 victory over the Penguins.

From along the left boards, Martin St. Louis hit Lecavalier in stride with a beautiful pass. Lecavalier made no mistake, putting a backhander past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for his ninth goal of the season.

"I knew that if (St. Louis) could get it on my stick, I'd be great," Lecavalier said. "So I started skating, and (the pass) was right on my stick, right in my stride and I didn't have to slow down or anything. It was a little bit tough at the end. The puck was kind of bouncing on me, but I managed to get it down right before I made the move."

"We got a big block from our D, and the puck goes to the side there," St. Louis said. "I took a peek at what Vinny was doing, and Vinny took off. I didn't have to look at him; I just kind of looked for where I thought he would be and I found him. It was bouncing, but he was able to handle it, make a good move and score a big goal."

It was the 19th goal in 29 career games against the Penguins for Lecavalier, who extended his points streak to 10 games. He has seven goals and 10 assists during his run.

"I don't know. I wish I knew the answer," Lecavalier said. "There's some teams I can't score against - Ottawa I have trouble scoring against - and there's some teams where it seems to be going pretty well, so I'm happy when those teams come along."

Eric Perrin helped the Lightning get to overtime by scoring his third goal of the season 4:48 into the third period to tie the game at 3-3.

Nils Ekman recorded a natural hat trick in just over a four-minute span of the second period for the Penguins, who have lost a season-high three in a row.

"The second half (of the game), I thought we played decent hockey and we were into it," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "But there's no doubt that in the first half we were on our heels and any time we're on our heels, we're not at our best."

Ekman, who had just two goals in his first 12 games, started his onslaught at 15:37 of the middle session to bring the Penguins with 2-1. He gathered a loose puck in the slot and put a quick shot past goaltender Johan Holmqvist.

Just 2:41 later, Ekman tied the game by deflecting Ryan Whitney's shot from the left faceoff circle by Holmqvist. He completed his first career hat trick with 13 seconds left in the period with a deflection of Sidney Crosby's shot from the slot.

"I think I was just in the right place at the right time," Ekman said. "It's not like I did that much; I was just in front of the net and some guys on our team made great plays (to get me the puck) and I was standing there tipping them in."

Ekman's three goals were the fastest in franchise history. Lowell MacDonald tallied in a 4:17 span on November 13, 1973.

Crosby had two assists for the Penguins, who saw prized rookie Evgeni Malkin held without a point for just the second time in nine games.

Dmitry Afanasenkov opened the scoring for the Lightning with his third goal of the season 13:58 into the first period.

Brad Richards tallied a power-play goal, his fourth of the season at 10:12 of the second period to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead.

"It's starting to come, but it's still nowhere where I want it to be. But at least I'm getting on the scoresheet with some goals and helping the team out," Richards said. "I'm confident that I'm going to get out of (the slump) fully and this is a good start."

Tampa Bay completed a 3-1 road trip.

"We definitely wanted a road trip like this and we're going to go back home feeling good about our trip and ourselves," Lecavalier said.






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