for this game

Lecavalier's hat trick helps Lightning end slide

Mar 12, 2008 - 3:56 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Vincent Lecavalier and the Tampa Bay Lightning were tied of being doormats.

Lecavalier recorded his second hat trick of the season as the Lightning halted a five-game slide with an 8-4 rout of the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Michel Ouellet had two goals and and assist and Jeff Halpern scored the key goal and set up two others for Tampa Bay, which set a season high in goals.

Nick Tarnasky and Jason Ward also scored for the Lightning, who had dropped 10 of their previous 11 but salvaged the finale of their four-game season series with the Islanders.

"We were hoping to end the skid for a long time, and it seemed tonight, everything went in at once," Lecavalier said. "It's great for everybody's confidence, and we'll go from there."

Captain Bill Guerin had a goal and an assist and Ruslan Fedotenko, Ben Walter and Mike Comrie also tallied for New York (32-32-7), which has lost three in row and fell eight points behind the Philadelphia Flyers (35-26-9) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"Our team started off OK, but we're real fragile right now," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "Our mental errors seem to build and build. Any little mistake seems to compile and compile. It feels like we're fighting an uphill battle a lot."

"You know the old saying, 'When it rains, it pours,'" Guerin said. "We're down a bunch of guys right now. Joe (Vasicek) gets sick, Fedotenko hurts his knee tonight. That hurts. Those are key players. We need more depth, and it's nobody's fault. It just happens."

With the game knotted at 2-2 midway through the second period, Mathieu Darche rushed toward the net from the top of the left faceoff circle, drawing All-Star goaltender Rick DiPietro toward him.

Instead of shooting, Darche went behind the net and dished to Halpern, whose one-timer from the right faceoff circle sailed into a vacant net at the nine-minute mark. The goal capped the seventh career three-point effort by Halpern, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Dallas Stars.

"I'd like to think I fit in any system, but one of my better things is forechecking, and this is definitely a high-forechecking system," Halpern said. "Mikey (Ouellet) and Darche, the two of them are winning battles and getting in there on forechecks.

"Mikey has scored a lot of goals, but they both do a lot of dirty work. Darche, unfortunately, hasn't gotten a lot of credit or been on the scoresheet, but he's the guy causing turnovers and laying a hit and coming up with pucks."

With just over five minutes left in the second, Tarnasky flipped a rebound past DiPietro to restore a two-goal lead for Tampa Bay. Lecavalier made it 5-2 at 4:58 of the third, when he stuffed a wraparound attempt between DiPietro's skate and the right goalpost for his second of the night.

"I just brought it to the net," Lecavalier said. "I went under his stick and I was just doing like a shovel, just trying to get it in and banging away. I was lucky it went in."

It was Lecavalier's fifth multi-goal game of the season and first since December 26 against the Washington Capitals.

"I think Lecavalier was chomping at the bit to play against us tonight," Nolan said. "A world-class player like that, he's going to hurt you if you give him some time."

Lecavalier's third tally at 17:43 of the third was the first of three scored in a span of 42 seconds by the Lightning, a new club record. It also capped the All-Star's sixth career hat trick.

"It's fun," Lecavalier said. "It's always fun to win, and obviously we're not happy with the season, but we're happy what we accomplished tonight."

Ouellet and Lecavalier gave the Lightning an early 2-0 lead in the first with a pair of power-play goals before Guerin's tally with 2:55 left in the period halved the deficit. Fedotenko netted the equalizer at 4:16 of the second before Halpern helped Tampa Bay take control.

"The win was certainly satisfying for our players," Lightning assistant coach Mike Sullivan said. "We worked extremely hard over the past seven or eight games, maybe even longer, and hadn't really gotten rewarded from a results standpoint.

"Tonight, obviously, we filled the net and were rewarded from a results standpoint."

Karri Ramo stopped 20 shots for his first win for the Lightning since February 12.

DiPietro made 36 saves but lost for the fifth time in his last six games.

"Rick's puckhandling is as good as anybody," Nolan said. "You just can't overhandle it. When you overhandle it, you get yourself in trouble a little bit."

DiPietro recorded his 13th career assist, moving him past Billy Smith for first place on the franchise list among goaltenders.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 2 4
    TAMPA BAY 2 2 4 8 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) MICHEL OUELLET 13 (JEFF HALPERN, DAN BOYLE) 6:51
    TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 34 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, JEFF
    HALPERN) 12:09
    NYI - BILL GUERIN 21 (BRENDAN WITT, RADEK MARTINEK) 17:05
    2ND PRD: NYI - RUSLAN FEDO

    Mar 11 10:06 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    TAMPA BAY 8
    3RD PRD: NYI - BLAKE COMEAU 6 (BILL GUERIN) 19:23

    Islanders 4, Lightning 8  3rd - 0:37Mar 11 10:05 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    TAMPA BAY 8
    3RD PRD: TAM - KARL STEWART 1 (JASON WARD) 18:25

    Islanders 3, Lightning 8  3rd - 1:35Mar 11 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    TAMPA BAY 7
    3RD PRD: TAM - MICHEL OUELLET 14 (MATHIEU DARCHE) 18:15

    Islanders 3, Lightning 7  3rd - 1:45Mar 11 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    TAMPA BAY 6
    3RD PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 36 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 17:43

    Islanders 3, Lightning 6  3rd - 2:17Mar 11 9:58 PM


  • CORRECTION
    NHL NY ISLANDERS 3
    TAMPA BAY 5
    3RD PRD: NYI - (PP) BEN WALTER 1 (BLAKE COMEAU, BRYAN BERARD) 10:22

    Islanders 3, Lightning 5  3rd - 9:38Mar 11 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    TAMPA BAY 5
    3RD PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 35 (DAN BOYLE, ALEXANDRE PICARD)
    4:58

    Islanders 2, Lightning 5  3rd - 15:02Mar 11 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 2
    TAMPA BAY 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) MICHEL OUELLET 13 (JEFF HALPERN, DAN BOYLE) 6:51
    TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 34 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, JEFF
    HALPERN) 12:09
    NYI - BILL GUERIN 21 (BRENDAN WITT, RADEK MARTINEK) 17:05
    2ND PRD: NYI

    Mar 11 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    TAMPA BAY 4
    2ND PRD: TAM - NICK TARNASKY 6 (CRAIG MACDONALD, SHANE O'BRIEN) 14:49

    Islanders 2, Lightning 4  2nd - 5:11Mar 11 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    TAMPA BAY 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - JEFF HALPERN 14 (MATHIEU DARCHE, MICHEL OUELLET) 9:00

    Islanders 2, Lightning 3  2nd - 11:00Mar 11 8:54 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    TAMPA BAY 2
    2ND PRD: NYI - TRENT HUNTER 11 (RUSLAN FEDOTENKO) 4:16

    Islanders 2, Lightning 2  2nd - 15:44Mar 11 8:42 PM
  • Nuno F'n DiPietro...god bless him..but way to blow that one by going behind the net ...AGAIN!

    Islanders 1, Lightning 2  End of 1stMar 11 8:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) MICHEL OUELLET 13 (JEFF HALPERN, DAN BOYLE) 6:51
    TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 34 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, JEFF
    HALPERN) 12:09
    NYI - BILL GUERIN 21 (BRENDAN WITT, RADEK MARTINEK) 17:05
    SHOTS ON GOAL

    Mar 11 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    TAMPA BAY 2
    1ST PRD: NYI - BILL GUERIN 21 (BRENDAN WITT, RADEK MARTINEK) 17:05

    Islanders 1, Lightning 2  1st - 2:55Mar 11 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    TAMPA BAY 2
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 34 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, JEFF
    HALPERN) 12:09

    Islanders 0, Lightning 2  1st - 7:51Mar 11 8:01 PM
  • Nuno F'n DiPietro...god bless him..but way to blow that one by going behind the net ...AGAIN!

    Islanders 0, Lightning 0  1st - 15:07Mar 11 7:49 PM
  • Nuno I'm a die hard Islander fan...and it's hard to believe the Islanders actually have more points then the Bolts when I look at the Bolts roster.

    Two bad teams...hopefully they can give us a good game to watch.

    Islanders 0, Lightning 0  1st - 15:07Mar 11 7:48 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) MICHEL OUELLET 13 (JEFF HALPERN, DAN BOYLE) 6:51

    Islanders 0, Lightning 1  1st - 13:09Mar 11 7:48 PM
  • 20
    roots
    Nuno Added 5 roots

    Islanders 0, Lightning 0  1st - 15:07Mar 11 7:46 PM
  • 15
    roots
    nhlnetworkfan Added 5 roots

    Islanders vs. LightningMar 11 6:28 PM
  • 10
    roots
    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Islanders vs. LightningMar 11 6:55 AM
  • 5
    roots
    MetsFan Added 5 roots

    Islanders vs. LightningFeb 9 8:30 PM