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St. Louis scores twice in third to lead Lightning

Mar 23, 2007 - 5:59 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Martin St. Louis proved to be too much for the New Jersey Devils.

St. Louis scored twice midway through the third period and Marc Denis made 34 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning posted a 3-1 victory over the Devils.

Jason Ward also tallied and Vincent Lecavalier recorded his 500th career point with an assist for the Lightning (41-30-4), who moved within two points of the Atlanta Thrashers (39-26-10) for first place in the Southeast Division.

"I'm really happy," Lecavalier said of his achievement. "I'm here my whole career and I love playing in Tampa Bay and playing with the Lightning. That's more important to me than getting 500 points."

Lecavalier nearly recorded the milestone point in the first period, but his shot was stopped by defenseman Colin White after getting past goaltender Martin Brodeur.

"Unbelievable save by Colin White," Lecavalier said. "I thought I had the goal. His stick was behind Brodeur's and he comes up with the save."

In winning the Art Ross Trophy in 2004, St. Louis recorded a career-high 94 points, including 38 goals - also a personal best. Entering this one with 94 points, the 30-year-old netted a pair of tallies to raise his season total to 41 and give Tampa Bay its third win in four meetings with New Jersey this campaign.

Attempting to carry the puck out of his own zone, Devils defenseman Johnny Oduya coughed it up to Eric Perrin just outside the blue line. Perrin quickly passed to St. Louis, who beat Brodeur to the far side with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle at 9:42 to give the Lightning a 2-1 edge.

"It was a soft play," Devils coach Claude Julien said of Oduya's turnover. "You can't make those soft passes through the middle and give them an opportunity to score. ... I think until they scored that second goal, we were playing a decent game. We wanted to make strong plays in the third period, but they were soft plays, and that's what cost us a goal and that's what turned that game around."

"(Perrin) has been playing really well here the last two or three games by waiting and creating a lot of turnovers that way," St. Louis said. "His anticipation is great and I was able to read off of that and get open. He got the puck to me and I was able to put it in."

Just 4:02 later, Lecavalier completed a pass from behind the net to St. Louis, whose one-timer from the left circle beat Brodeur for a 3-1 advantage.

"That's two huge goals in the third period," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said.

Denis made the goals stand, turning aside all 12 shots he faced in the third to raise his record to 17-16-2.

"It was pretty good by Denis as far as getting it done in these types of circumstances," Tortorella said. "He was very steady."

Zach Parise had the lone tally for New Jersey, which scored a total of six goals in the four-game season series with Tampa Bay.

"We worked pretty hard tonight," Parise said. "We worked hard but didn't come up with the win."

With the loss, the Devils (43-23-8) remained just two points ahead of the second-place Pittsburgh Penguins (41-23-10) in the Atlantic Division.

Two days after scoring his first goal with Tampa Bay, Ward made it two in as many games midway through the first period to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead. From low in the right faceoff circle, Brad Richards passed in front to Ward, who had the puck carom off his skate and between the pads of Brodeur with 8:37 to go in the session.

Parise knotted the contest at 11:21 of the second, sweeping in a loose puck from in front during a power play.

New Jersey has lost three straight games and four of five, netting just four goals in the four setbacks. The Devils have been without three of their top players in captain Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta and John Madden - who are sidelined with groin injuries - during the three-game slide.

"It's something that we have to live with. It's the way it is right now for us," Parise said. "We can't do anything to change it. All we can do is get together with the guys that are here and play the same way, play with a high tempo and play smart.

"We'd love to have them back and can't wait, but these are the guys we have right now to win games."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 0 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - JASON WARD 6 (BRAD RICHARDS, NOLAN PRATT) 11:23
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 29 (BRIAN RAFALSKI) 11:21
    3RD PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 40 (ERIC PERRIN) 9:42
    TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 41 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, CORY

    Mar 22 9:58 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    TAMPA BAY 3
    3RD PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 41 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, CORY SARICH)
    13:44

    Devils vs. LightningMar 22 9:46 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    TAMPA BAY 2
    3RD PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 40 (ERIC PERRIN) 9:42

    Devils vs. LightningMar 22 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - JASON WARD 6 (BRAD RICHARDS, NOLAN PRATT) 11:23
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 29 (BRIAN RAFALSKI) 11:21
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 11 12 23
    TA

    Mar 22 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 29 (BRIAN RAFALSKI) 11:21

    Devils vs. LightningMar 22 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - JASON WARD 6 (BRAD RICHARDS, RUSLAN FEDOTENKO) 11:23
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 11 11
    TAM 15 15
    GOALIES: NJD - MARTIN BRODEUR

    Mar 22 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - JASON WARD 6 (BRAD RICHARDS, RUSLAN FEDOTENKO) 11:23

    Devils vs. LightningMar 22 8:01 PM