PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lighting already were assured of
one of the best road trips in their brief history. This one made it
Cory Stillman and Brad Richards scored less than a minute apart
early in the first period and the Lightning ran their
franchise-best road winning streak to four, beating the Pittsburgh
Penguins 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Lightning backup goalie John Grahame allowed only one goal for
the fourth straight game -- all during the road winning streak --
while facing only 13 shots. Grahame is 6-1-1 on the road this
season and 6-1-1 in his career against Pittsburgh.
While Grahame regularly beats the Penguins, the Lightning don't
-- it was their first victory in Mellon Arena since Nov. 6, 1999,
going 0-5-1-1 in their last seven games there.
"We've been moving around a bit, but I think tonight's game
made the difference on the road trip," Stillman said. "We either
go home 4-1 or 3-2 and, obviously, we're trying to get points, so
it was an important win."
Since the Lightning joined the NHL for the 1992-93 season, they
had never won more than three straight road games. Their current
streak began after a 5-2 loss in Ottawa on Jan. 6 with Nikolai
Khabibulin in goal, but he hasn't played since as Grahame has
allowed only four goals in beating the Canadiens, Devils, Rangers
"When you're on that road that long, everyone wants to get
home, but you want to end on a positive note," Grahame said.
"That was the big thing, to try to stay focused and get through
this last one. Four and one? There's a big difference from 3-2 and,
just like he (Stillman) said, that's a very successful road trip."
The Penguins, coming off a 2-1 victory Monday night in
Philadelphia, weren't embarrassed like they were in losing their
previous four home games to the Rangers, Maple Leafs, Islanders and
Canadiens by a combined 23-2. But they still dropped their fifth in
a row at home and are an NHL-worst 7-12-3 on home ice.
Penguins goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin, outstanding against the
Flyers the previous night, tightened up considerably after giving
up the two early goals, but still took the loss despite making 28
saves. Pittsburgh was outshot 31-13.
"There were opportunities to shoot the puck, but they are a
pretty sturdy team defensively," Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk said.
"We are not exactly an offensive juggernaut. It obviously wasn't
good enough, but it wasn't from a lack of trying or us sitting
back. They are a really good team and they kept the puck in our
Just five seconds after Pittsburgh's Kelly Buchberger went off
for slashing, Stillman powered a slap shot past Aubin at 3:32 of
the first for his 14th goal -- ending Tampa Bay's 0-for-17 streak on
the power play over four games.
Richards made it 2-0 only 46 seconds later with an odd-angle
shot from along the goal line that deflected into the net. Stillman
also had a hand in that goal, carrying the puck behind the net and
setting up Richards for his seventh goal.
"I was just throwing it on net," Richards said. "I was just
trying to get it across the crease and it hit a stick and went
Pittsburgh rookie Ryan Malone cut it to 2-1 late in the first
with the Penguins' third power-play goal in two games, but Tampa
Bay's Dave Andreychuk made certain there would be no Penguins
comeback by scoring with 2:53 remaining. Aubin turned aside
Andreychuk's backhander from just above the crease, but Andreychuk
put in his own rebound for his eighth goal.
"We came back out in the third and played like we did in the
first and didn't give them anything," Richards said.
Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh 9-0 on Nov. 8 in their only
previous meeting. ... Penguins star Mario Lemieux had season-ending
left hip surgery Tuesday. Pittsburgh is 7-22-2-3 without Lemieux.
... The Penguins have been outshot in 37 of 45 games. Tampa Bay
outshot Pittsburgh 14-2 in the third period.