for this game

Lecavalier helps Lightning knot quarterfinal series

Apr 15, 2007 - 3:23 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- All that ice time is paying off for Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The potent duo scored in a 2:31 span bridging the second and third periods and Johan Holmqvist bounced back from a shaky playoff debut with 34 saves as the Lightning rallied for a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils, evening their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at one game apiece.

Brad Richards recorded two assists for Tampa Bay, which hosts Game Three on Monday.

Lecavalier, who scored twice in a 5-3 loss in Game One, gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead 1:42 in the third period. While in front of the net, the Maurice Richard Trophy winner redirected defenseman Paul Ranger's shot from the right point between Martin Brodeur's pads.

"I just wanted to go in front of the net," Lecavalier said. "The shot came toward me and I kind of got lucky and tipped it."

St. Louis' goal from a bad angle knotted the game with 49 seconds left in the second period. St. Louis, who scored the Lightning's other tally in the opener, one-timed a pass by Richards from near the end line on the right side, and the puck somehow eluded Brodeur.

"We felt pretty good coming into the locker room (after the tying goal)," St. Louis said. "I knew I was deep, but I still thought I had an angle. You shoot the puck."

"He was down deep, but you just never know with Marty," Richards added. "He wants to get a puck on net. Fortunately for us, he found a way to get it in. It was an amazing shot."

In the game's waning seconds, the Devils pulled Brodeur for an extra skater and nearly tied the game, something they did seven times in the regular season.

"We were able to get a couple of sticks on it, but (Holmqvist) just stopped it," New Jersey's Brian Gionta said.

In Game One, Lecavalier played upwards of 26 minutes and St. Louis more than 28, exceptionally high totals for a forward and more than any Devils skater.

Despite Lightning coach John Tortorella's plans of playing the duo - the NHL's most dangerous with 95 regular-season goals - even more as the series went along, Lecavalier and St. Louis each played just over 24 minutes in this one, as he was able to keep them on the bench more in the third period with the lead.

The Devils' forwards, especially their checking line of John Madden, Jay Pandolfo and Sergei Brylin, are not used to logging extensive minutes. Now they face the added problem of playing the next two games on the road, where Tampa Bay will enjoy the final line changes.

"It'll be real tough in their building," Madden said. "So we'll see what we'll have to do."

"We play a lot of minutes," Lecavalier said. "I don't know if they're used to it or not. All year, we've been playing between 22 and 25 minutes. You keep your shift as short as possible. You know (Tortorella's) going to put you back out there."

Just 3:08 before St. Louis tied it, the Devils capitalized on a 5-on-3 as Jamie Langenbrunner beat Holmqvist with a slap shot from close range on the left side off a feed from behind the net by Gionta.

"We outshot them pretty good, pretty sure we outchanced them," Langenbrunner said. "I think we played pretty desperate. We didn't capitalize on our chances, and every mistake we made seemed to end up in our net."

Holmqvist allowed four or more goals 12 times during the regular season but rebounded well, posting an 8-4 mark in the ensuing games. Much has been made of the Swede's status as a playoff novice, compared to the legendary Brodeur.

"That's in him," Tortorella said of his netminder's ability to bounce back. "It's a new experience for him and certainly was a great answer for him tonight. He was aggressive, he felt confident. That's how athletes become better athletes, become better playoff performers - getting some experience in these situations. And he's lived through a couple of games.

"In the second period, he gave us a chance to win. All we ask from our goaltending is give us a chance to win."

Holmqvist was not scored upon at even strength as the Devils used the power play to forge a 1-1 tie with 1:49 left in the opening period. Zach Parise scored his third goal of the series, swatting the puck into the right side of the net after defenseman Brian Rafalski's shot from above the slot hit traffic in front.

Defenseman Filip Kuba, whose holding penalty gave New Jersey the two-man advantage in the second period, converted with the Lightning down a man 9:02 into the game. Richards broke out of the zone for a 3-on-2 rush and dished left to Eric Perrin, who found Kuba unattended for a tap-in at the right side of the wide-open net.

It was Kuba's first playoff goal since April 29th, 2003, when he played for the Minnesota Wild.








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 1 3
    NEW JERSEY 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (SH) FILIP KUBA 1 (ERIC PERRIN, BRAD RICHARDS) 9:02
    NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 3 (BRIAN RAFALSKI, JAMIE
    LANGENBRUNNER) 18:11
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER 1 (BRIAN GIONTA, PATRIK
    ELIAS) 16:19


    Apr 14 9:38 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots

    Lightning vs. DevilsApr 14 9:34 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL TAMPA BAY 3
    NEW JERSEY 2
    3RD PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 3 (PAUL RANGER, VACLAV PROSPAL) 1:42

    Lightning vs. DevilsApr 14 9:04 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 2
    NEW JERSEY 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (SH) FILIP KUBA 1 (ERIC PERRIN, BRAD RICHARDS) 9:02
    NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 3 (BRIAN RAFALSKI, JAMIE
    LANGENBRUNNER) 18:11
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER 1 (BRIAN GIONTA, PATRIK


    Apr 14 8:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL TAMPA BAY 2
    NEW JERSEY 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 2 (BRAD RICHARDS, JASON WARD) 19:11

    Lightning vs. DevilsApr 14 8:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL TAMPA BAY 1
    NEW JERSEY 2
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER 1 (BRIAN GIONTA, PATRIK ELIAS)
    16:19 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Lightning vs. DevilsApr 14 8:37 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    ------------------------
    Tampa Bay 1 --1
    New Jersey 1 --1
    ------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Tampa Bay, Filip Kuba 1 (shorthanded) (Eric
    Perrin, Brad Richards), 9:02. 2, New Jersey, Zach Parise 3 (power
    play) (Travis Zajac, Brian Rafalski), 18:11. Penalties: E Rasmussen,
    Njd (holding), 2:01; C Sarich, Tam (tripping), 8:11; S Brylin, Njd
    (hooking), 9:41;

    Apr 14 7:47 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL TAMPA BAY 1
    NEW JERSEY 1
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 3 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, BRIAN RAFALSKI) 18:11

    Lightning vs. DevilsApr 14 7:45 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL TAMPA BAY 1
    NEW JERSEY 0
    1ST PRD: TAM - (SH) FILIP KUBA 1 (ERIC PERRIN, BRAD RICHARDS) 9:02

    Lightning vs. DevilsApr 14 7:28 PM