Final

Series (Game 2 of 5)

Tampa Bay leads 3-0

Game 1: Thursday, October 10th
Lightning4Final
OT
Panthers3
Game 2: Monday, October 28th
Lightning6Final
Panthers1
Game 3: Saturday, February 8th
Lightning4Final
OT
Panthers4
Game 4: Thursday, February 27th
Panthers1Final
Lightning3
Game 5: Saturday, March 29th
Panthers1Final
OT
Lightning1

Lightning 6

(6-1-0, 14 pts)

Panthers 1

(3-5-1, 8 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 28, 2002

BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

1 2 3 T
TB 2 0 46
FLA 1 0 01

N. Khabibulin (Lightning - G): Saves: 22, Save Pct.: .957

V. Prospal (Lightning - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

V. Lecavalier (Lightning - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Khabibulin makes 22 saves to remain unbeaten

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning finished with a flash.

Nikolai Khabibulin
Khabibulin

Nikolai Khabibulin made 22 saves to remain unbeaten this season as Tampa Bay extended its surprising start with a 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

Vincent Lecavalier, Ruslan Fedotenko and Vaclav Prospal each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (6-1-2-0), who bounced back from their only loss.

Leading 2-1 late in the third period, Tampa Bay scored four goals in a span of 3:03 to turn it into a rout. That tied a team record for goals in one period on the road.

''I've seen it done in other places, but not since I've been here,'' Lightning coach John Tortorella said. ''Obviously, the score doesn't indicate the game, but we'll take the win.''

Fedotenko started the onslaught at 15:55 when he took a pass from Pavel Kubina and slid the puck in behind goalie Roberto Luongo to make it 3-1.

Just 14 seconds later, Ben Clymer took a slap shot from the right circle and the puck went over Luongo's shoulder and into the net.

At 17:43, Lecavalier one-timed the puck from the right circle to stretch the lead to 5-1. Just over a minute later, Fredrik Modin's wrist shot, again from the right circle, made it 6-1.

''It was fairly tight until the last five minutes or so,'' Panthers coach Mike Keenan said. ''We couldn't get a goal when we needed it to make a difference. Then it was all downhill from there.''

Khabibulin, who did not play in Saturday's 5-1 loss at New Jersey, improved to 6-0-2 this season.

Dave Andreychuk also scored for the Lightning to tie it 1-1.

''I was just trying to get it on net,'' Andreychuk said. ''It was one of those goals that you get sometimes. A bit lucky, it happened to go in. We were able to get a lot of shots on goal. Sometimes you get some chances you don't really deserve. Tonight everything worked in our favor.''

Luongo, who had 35 saves Saturday against Washington, appeared headed for another strong performance until the final four minutes.

''We were in it until the end,'' he said. ''The third goal pretty much deflated everybody.''

Tampa Bay sensed the late letdown by Florida.

''When we scored to go up 3-1, maybe they did let up a little bit,'' Sheldon Keefe said. ''We were happy to be able to open it up at the end. It was a tight game most of the way, this wasn't a 6-1 game.''

The Panthers wish they would have been stronger in front of Luongo in the final minutes.

''It shouldn't happen like that,'' Olli Jokinen said. ''Roberto's been playing unbelievable for us. I feel bad for him. We let him down big-time.''

The Panthers scored at 2:34 of the first period, 21 seconds into a power play. Marcus Nilson took a pass from Jokinen and pushed the puck in from directly in front of the crease.

Less than 2 minutes later, Tampa Bay tied it when Andreychuk shot from the left point and it deflected off a Panthers stick and went in behind Luongo on the glove side.

Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead at 13:33 of the first period. Prospal took a pass from Lecavalier, timed a shot perfectly and the puck went in low on Luongo's left side.

After going unbeaten against Tampa Bay in 12 straight home games, the Panthers have lost five in a row.

The Lightning have won eight of their last 12 games against Florida.

Game notes


Khabibulin has lost just three times in 14 games against the Panthers. ... Florida's first goal came on a power play. The Panthers entered with just one goal in their last 34 power-play chances. ... The Panthers played their fifth game during a stretch of six games in 10 days, which ends Wednesday in Dallas.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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