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Devils 0-2-1-1 vs. Lightning this season

1/21/2002

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are playing with
guarded optimism.

Vincent Lecavalier, Ben Clymer and Martin St. Louis scored
first-period goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New Jersey
Devils 3-2 on Monday night.

The Lightning, who snapped a seven-game home winless streak
(0-6-1), are six points behind New Jersey and Montreal for eighth
place -- and the final playoff spot -- in the Eastern Conference.

"Playoffs. That's a word that I don't think should be in our
vocabulary," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "What we
should be thinking about right now is staying in the hunt. Talk to
me at the end of the Olympic break and see where we're at, and then
maybe you can start looking at the postseason."

Christian Berglund and Sergei Brylin scored for New Jersey,
which dropped the opener of a five-game road trip and is 1-3-1-1
over the past six games. The Devils finished the season series
0-2-1-1 against the Lightning.

"It's huge to get these points," Lecavalier said. "We came
out hard. Every game, till the end of the year, we have to come out
hard."

The Lightning's first-period goals came on eight shots against
Martin Brodeur.

"That's not acceptable, especially when you're battling for
playoff spot," Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko said. "It's all the
little things we talk about -- we turn the puck over and we get
caught. We can't give up goals in games like this."

After Berglund put the Devils up 1-0 early in the first,
Lecavalier scored his second goal in 14 games midway through the
period.

Clymer and St. Louis scored 1 minute, 29 seconds apart late in
the first. Clymer redirected Cory Sarich's shot at 17 01, and St.
Louis followed with a breakaway goal.

Tampa Bay is 6-20-3 all-time against Brodeur, but two wins and a
tie have come this season.

"For them, it's always a big game," Brodeur said. "And for
us, we probably just take it for granted all the time. They want to
beat us. They know that we're not too far from them in the
standings."

Brylin got the Devils within 3-2 with six minutes left in the
third period. New Jersey outshot the Lightning 14-2 during the
final period.

"We played with much more determination the last 10 or 15
minutes, but the last time I looked, the game was 60 minutes,"
Devils coach Larry Robinson said.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 31 saves for the Lightning, who are
3-5-2 this month. Tampa Bay went 6-43-3-2 over the previous four
seasons during January.

"They had a couple surges there in the third period, but we
came up with the win," Tampa Bay defenseman Jassen Cullimore said.
"They were coming at us and Khabby played well for us when we
needed him."

Game notes
Devils D Ken Daneyko has not scored in 219 games. Teammate
Scott Stevens has gone 56 games without scoring. ... Tampa Bay F
Dave Andreychuk (1,409) tied Paul Coffey for 14th place on the
NHL's games played list. He also assisted on Clymer's goal to move
pass Bobby Orr into 46th place with 646 career assists.