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Khabibulin makes 35 saves in Lightning's win

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- It's getting harder to argue that Tampa
Bay's time isn't now instead of the future.

Cory Sarich scored with 1:15 left in overtime and
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 35 shots as the upstart Lightning beat the
Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 Sunday.

Pavel Kubina scored with 8:29 left in regulation to ruin Kevin
Weekes' shutout bid against his former team, and Sarich's second
career goal in 226 games improved the Southeast Division-leading
Lightning to 6-1 this season against teams from its division.

"Through the early part of the year we've shown some
resiliency,'' Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "What's that
from? Is it part of maturity? I don't have the answer. We just feel
as a team that we're able to come back, we're able to find ways.''

And now the Lightning have confidence against the defending
Eastern Conference champions, having already beaten Carolina 5-1 at
home on Oct. 12.

"You could see them building the last couple of years,''
Carolina captain Ron Francis said. "They've drafted some good
young players and they've got a top-notch goaltender, which gives
them a lot of confidence. People are thinking they are going to go
away, but that's not the case. They're for real.''

Carolina fell to 4-0-2-2 eight games into a franchise-record
nine-game homestand.

The Hurricanes had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:03 early in the
third but couldn't build on their one-goal lead and have scored
just 17 goals in their last eight.

"At the end of the day we're just not scoring enough goals to
take us out of those situations,'' Carolina coach Paul Maurice
said. "Things just aren't coming easy for us. We outplayed that
team, we outhit them and outworked them for 53 minutes and they
steal a game because we can't finish.''

Weekes, acquired in March from the Lightning, and Carolina's
defense kept one of the NHL's top offenses bottled up most of the
game until Kubina scored his first of the season, breaking a
19-game streak without a goal.

Kubina beat Weekes on a high shot over his glove with one second
left on an elbowing penalty against Aaron Ward.

Tampa Bay came in tied for second in the league with 61 goals,
but was 0-for-5 on the power play and couldn't get some quality
shots past their former teammate until the Kubina goal late and
Sarich's first career game-winner, beating Rod Brind'Amour down the
ice.

"We would have been excited to get one point. Two is a bonus,''
Sarich said.

Ron Francis scored his sixth of the season and 520th of his
career 22 seconds into a power play with 5:37 left in the second,
beating Khabibulin between the legs from in close to give Carolina
a 1-0 lead.

Earlier in the period, Weekes made a super save on Martin St.
Louis with Carolina on the power play, and he stoned Kubina with a
left shoulder save moments before Francis scored the 176th
power-play goal of his career.

Khabibulin stopped 13 shots in a scoreless first period. His
best two saves came within seconds of each other as he denied Jan
Hlavac from the slot and then made a spectacular glove save on the
rebound by the Carolina left wing.

Game notes
Khabibulin has played in 17 of 18 games. ... Carolina LW
Sami Kapanen missed his second straight game with a groin injury.
... Tampa Bay's Vaclav Propal extended his point streak to seven
games with two assists. ... Jaroslav Svoboda's assist on the
Francis goal broke a seven-game pointless streak for the rookie.