<
>

8-game unbeaten streak Lightning record

11/2/2003

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A spilt-second decision by Cory Stillman
became a game-winning one.

Stillman scored the tiebreaking goal from center ice with 8:09
left Saturday night to lift the Lightning to a 4-3 victory over the
Carolina Hurricanes and keep Tampa Bay as the NHL's only undefeated
team.

"Who'd figure?" Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We end
up winning the game on a goal like that."

Stillman was along the right wing boards when his long shot beat
goalie Kevin Weekes, who moved in the wrong direction when he
thought the Lightning left wing was going to send the puck behind
the net.

"I just anticipated he was going to dump it," Weekes said.
"The rest is pretty much history, obviously. It was frustrating.
It was a bad break and just unfortunate timing. Just terrible."

Stillman saw Weekes move and took advantage for his sixth goal
of the season.

"I didn't go all the way through with my shot when I saw where
he was," Stillman said.

Vincent Lecavalier scored two goals for the Lightning, who have
opened the season with a franchise-record eight-game unbeaten
streak (7-0-1). Martin St. Louis had the other the Tampa Bay goal.

"We got a lucky goal, but in a month from now we won't remember
how we won this game," St. Louis said. "It will be a victory in
the column."

The NHL record for the longest undefeated streak to start the
season is a 15-game run (12-0-3) by the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers,
who went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Josef Vasicek, Erik Cole and Radim Vrbata scored for the
Hurricanes, who trailed by three goals late in the second period.
Vasicek has five goals in the past three games.

The Lightning went up 3-0 on second-period goals by Lecavalier
at 3:20 and 15:38.

St. Louis gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead on a rebound goal at
12:53 of the first.

Tampa Bay outshot the Hurricanes 11-2 during the first 15
minutes, but Weekes kept it close by making point-blank saves on
St. Louis, Lecavalier and Dave Andreychuk.

"If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have been in position to
have a chance," Carolina defenseman Sean Hill said of Weekes, who
used to play for the Lightning. "He's been our best player ... by
a long shot."

Vasicek scored with 1:35 left in the second to get the
Hurricanes within 3-1.

Carolina cut the deficit to 3-2 on Cole's goal just 47 seconds
into the third period. Vrbata tied it at 3 at 9:37.

"We're not going to win them all," St. Louis said. "We're
finding a way to win them. Sometimes it's ugly, sometimes it's
pretty."

Game Notes: Tampa Bay has a six-game (4-0-2) unbeaten streak against
the Hurricanes. ... Hill returned after missing two games because
of a groin injury. ... Struggling Tampa Bay RW Ruslan Fedotenko was
a healthy scratch. He has one assist in seven games.