Final

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Tampa Bay leads 3-1

Game 1: Monday, October 21st
Lightning4Final
Rangers2
Game 2: Wednesday, October 30th
Rangers0Final
Lightning3
Game 3: Sunday, December 1st
Lightning3Final
Rangers4
Game 4: Sunday, December 29th
Rangers3Final
Lightning5

Lightning 4

(4-0-0, 9 pts)

Rangers 2

(2-3-0, 6 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 21, 2002

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

1 2 3 T
TB 1 2 14
NYR 0 2 02

M. St. Louis (Lightning - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

D. Boyle (Lightning - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

N. Khabibulin (Lightning - G): Saves: 18, Save Pct.: .900

Lightning score three power-play goals in win

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to an outstanding start thanks to a dangerous power play.

Eric Lindros

Eric Lindros will do his best to come back, but he must think strongly about calling it quits.

Martin St. Louis scored twice and Tampa Bay got three power-play goals Monday night in a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers.

Vaclav Prospal and Ben Clymer also scored for the surprising Lightning, off to the best start in franchise history at 4-0-1. Nikolai Khabibulin made 18 saves.

"We kept our unbeaten streak alive,'' St. Louis said. "That's the most important thing. We've got some offense this year.''

The Lightning have scored on the power play in every game this season.

"We just brought the puck to the net,'' St. Louis said. "You score one and it gives you confidence.''

Mark Messier and Rem Murray scored for the Rangers, who had their three-game unbeaten streak snapped. They had only three power plays to Tampa Bay's eight.

"Penalties hurt us,'' Brian Leetch said. "We had the momentum at 2-1 and the penalties turned it around.''

Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier was scratched with a right knee sprain and is expected to be out 10-to-14 days. Lecavalier, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 draft, was hurt in Saturday night's tie at Pittsburgh. He has three goals and four assists in four games this season.

St. Louis scored his fifth of the season off his own rebound at 3:40 of the third period to make it 4-2. St. Louis spun around in front of goalie Mike Richter, who replaced Dan Blackburn at the start of the period. Richter stopped the shot, but St. Louis was in perfect position to put home the rebound.

"We came together at the end of last year and it carried over,'' Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk said. "It's time to play -- I can see it in the room.''

Prospal converted his own rebound on a power play at 14:56 of the second period to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead. Blackburn stopped Prospal's backhand from the slot, but Prospal grabbed the rebound on his forehand and scored his third of the season.

"I haven't played well the last two games,'' Blackburn said.

St. Louis scored a power-play goal at 7:39 of the second period to make it 2-2. Khabibulin sent a nifty outlet pass to Dan Boyle, who sprung St. Louis on a breakaway with a great neutral zone pass. St. Louis used some nice stickwork to beat Blackburn from close in.

"We kind of caught them on a change,'' St. Louis said. "Khabibulin made a great pass.''

New York took a 2-1 lead with two goals in a span of 2:01 early in the second period. Murray scored his first of the season at 1:27 off a feed from Mikael Samuelsson.

Messier scored his third of the season on a tip in of Tom Poti's shot from the right point. With New York on a power play, Radek Dvorak sent a cross-ice pass to Poti, and Messier was right in front for the tip.

Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead on Clymer's second goal of the season. With the Lightning on a power play, Clymer skated along the right boards deep into the Rangers zone and sent a sharp angle shot on goal.

Blackburn wasn't squared to the shot and the puck went in between his left leg and the goal post.

Game notes


Pavel Bure has at least one goal in 12 of his 15 games with the Rangers, scoring 16 times overall. ... Tampa Bay's Ruslan Fedetenko had the wind knocked out of him by Ronald Petrovicky in the second period and was taken for a precautionary chest X-ray, then returned in the third.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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