Series (Game 4 of 6)

Tampa Bay leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 1st
Game 2: Sunday, November 9th
Game 3: Sunday, November 23rd
Game 4: Thursday, January 15th
Game 5: Wednesday, March 10th
Game 6: Saturday, March 13th

Hurricanes 4

(14-19-2, 39 pts)

Lightning 5

(21-15-1, 49 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 15, 2004

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

1 2 3 T
CAR 2 1 14
TB 5 0 05

M. St. Louis (Lightning - RW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

C. Stillman (Lightning - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

D. Andreychuk (Lightning - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Carolina (14-18-9-2) at Tampa Bay (20-15-6-1) 7:00 pm EST

TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- After a highly successful five-game road trip, the Tampa Bay Lightning return to the St. Pete Times Forum on Thursday to host the Carolina Hurricanes in a Southeast Division contest.

Tampa Bay opened its trek with a 5-2 setback to the Ottawa Senators, but followed with four straight wins.

On Tuesday, Cory Stillman and Brad Richards scored in a 46-second span of the opening period as the Lightning defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1. Stillman has two goals and three assists in his last three contests and is second on the team with 30 points.

Backup John Grahame has started Tampa Bay's last four games to improve to 9-5-1. No. 1 goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin is 1-4-2 in his last seven decisions, but has a 1.89 goals-against average and 6-5-5 lifetime record vs. the Hurricanes.

Tampa Bay is three points in front of the Atlanta Thrashers for the lead in the Southeast Division and is trying to win five straight games for the first time since opening the season with six consecutive victories.

Carolina is 2-1-1 in its last four games.

Erik Cole ended a 26-game drought by scoring with 3:29 remaining Sunday to lift the Hurricanes into a 2-2 tie with the Senators. Rookie Eric Staal scored his eighth goal of the season in the second period and former Lightning goalie Kevin Weekes made 38 saves to move to 14-15-7.

Weekes is 2-3-2 lifetime vs. Tampa Bay. He was in the nets here November 1, when Stillman beat him on a trick shot from the neutral zone with 8:09 remaining as the Lightning blew a three-goal lead before posting a 4-3 victory.

Weekes did not play in Carolina on November 9, when the teams skated to a 1-1 tie. He did play in Carolina on November 23 and had 21 saves in a 0-0 tie with the Lightning. Khabibulin made 37 saves, including eight in overtime.