for this game

Lecavalier, St. Louis lead Lightning past Panthers

Dec 28, 2008 - 5:23 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Lightning never strikes the same place twice but luckily for Tampa Bay, captain Vincent Lecavalier found a way to do so.

Lecavalier scored two second-period goals and set up another and Martin St. Louis tallied and had three assists as the Lightning won their third consecutive game by trouncing the Florida Panthers, 6-4, on Saturday.

"It's been going good lately the last three games," St. Louis said. "I really feel the guys are on the same page, the most we've been on the same page all year. ... It's been something that's been talked about, us scoring goals, so it was nice we were able to do that tonight."

Ryan Malone recorded a goal and set up two others and Jussi Jokinen notched two assists for the Lightning, whose only other winning streak this season came when they won three in a row from October 28-November 1.

"Right now, we're a desperate team," Malone said. "We need those two points every night and we got to make sure we lay it on the line here to get back into it - and tonight, it was a great job by everyone, top to bottom.

"I think we're playing simple hockey. We're putting pucks on net and crashing the net, and today we got rewarded for that."

Rookie Steven Stamkos scored for the first time in 12 contests and Evgeny Artyukhin also scored in the first period to give Tampa Bay an early 2-0 lead and provide support for Mike Smith, who made 25 saves.

"Well the first (period) was the difference in the game," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "They came out right from the drop of the puck, physically took it to us and we didn't handle it well - and that was the story of the game."

David Booth scored twice, Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss each tallied and Tomas Vokoun turned aside 36 shots, but a plethora of defensive lapses caused the Panthers to drop both contests in the home-and-home series with the Lightning.

Tampa Bay outshot Florida, 42-29, overall - and by a 21-3 margin in the first period, one night after stealing a 4-3 triumph on the road.

Lecavalier struck for the second time with six seconds remaining in the second and gave the Lightning a lead they would not relinquish after they had coughed up a two-goal advantage earlier in the session.

"It feels pretty good," Lecavalier said. "I thought we connected well. Things went in. It's just good that we got the victory, three in a row. It's good for our confidence."

Horton and Booth netted power-play goals within a 26-second span to forge a 3-3 tie with just over four minutes left in the second, but that was the final surge Smith had to stop.

"Lecavalier's line, every time they were on the ice, it seems like they scored so the best players came to play tonight," DeBoer said. "Those kind of goals (at the end of the second) kill you with five seconds left in the period. To get out (of the period) 3-3, you have a chance, but we got what we deserved tonight. Had we gotten any more than that based on what we did, it probably wouldn't have been justified."

After Booth tallied 3:09 into the period to cut Florida's deficit to 2-1, Lecavalier beat Vokoun for the first time 1:43 later.

Smith's cushion was further padded in the third when Malone converted passes from St. Louis and defenseman Paul Ranger 4:42 into the session, and St. Louis registered his 13th goal of the season three minutes later.

"Just overall, it was a pretty weak effort," Florida defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said.

Weiss tallied with six minutes left, but the Panthers were unable to generate another comeback effort.

"I'm a big believer in even keel," Tampa Bay interim coach Rick Tocchet said. "It's nice to win, but it's back to work. We put ourselves in a pretty big hole, so it's nice to get the third one. But we've got to get on a roll here and take nothing for granted."






  • 5
    roots
    Silversword55 Added 5 roots

    Panthers 4, Lightning 6  FinalDec 28 12:54 PM


  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NHL
    FLORIDA 4
    TAMPA BAY 6

    Dec 27 10:11 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 4
    TAMPA BAY 6
    3RD PRD: FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 6 (DAVID BOOTH) 13:57

    Panthers 4, Lightning 6  3rd - 6:03Dec 27 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    TAMPA BAY 6
    3RD PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 15 (RYAN MALONE) 7:46

    Panthers 3, Lightning 6  3rd - 12:14Dec 27 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    TAMPA BAY 5
    3RD PRD: TAM - RYAN MALONE 8 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, PAUL RANGER) 4:42

    Panthers 3, Lightning 5  3rd - 15:18Dec 27 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 3 3
    TAMPA BAY 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - STEVEN STAMKOS 4 (MATT SMABY, JUSSI JOKINEN) 7:06
    TAM - (PP) EVGENY ARTYUKHIN 3 (MARK RECCHI, JUSSI JOKINEN)
    14:03
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 13 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 4:53
    FLA - DAVID BOOTH 13

    Dec 27 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    TAMPA BAY 4
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 14 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, RYAN MALONE)
    19:54

    Panthers 3, Lightning 4  2nd - 0:06Dec 27 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    TAMPA BAY 3
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) MICHAEL FROLIK 6 (BRYAN MCCABE) 16:53

    Panthers 3, Lightning 3  2nd - 3:07Dec 27 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    TAMPA BAY 3
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) NATHAN HORTON 7 (CORY STILLMAN, STEPHEN WEISS)
    16:27

    Panthers 2, Lightning 3  2nd - 3:33Dec 27 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    TAMPA BAY 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 13 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 4:53

    Panthers 1, Lightning 3  2nd - 15:07Dec 27 8:51 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    TAMPA BAY 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - DAVID BOOTH 13 (UNASSISTED) 16:12

    Panthers 1, Lightning 2  2nd - 3:48Dec 27 8:46 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - STEVEN STAMKOS 4 (MATT SMABY, JUSSI JOKINEN) 7:06
    TAM - (PP) EVGENY ARTYUKHIN 3 (MARK RECCHI, JUSSI JOKINEN)
    14:03
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLA 3

    Dec 27 8:23 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    TAMPA BAY 2
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) EVGENY ARTYUKHIN 3 (MARK RECCHI, JUSSI JOKINEN)
    14:03

    Panthers 0, Lightning 2  1st - 5:57Dec 27 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - STEVEN STAMKOS 4 (MATT SMABY, JUSSI JOKINEN) 7:06

    Panthers 0, Lightning 1  1st - 12:54Dec 27 7:52 PM