EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The two fastest goals in Lightning
history were an indication that Tampa Bay is over a slump and the
New Jersey Devils remain in one.
Dave Andreychuk and Fredrik Modin capped three-goal third period
with tallies nine seconds apart and the Lightning won for the third
time in four games with a 4-1 win over reeling Stanley Cup
champions on Friday night.
"That's a good sign for us when we get better the further the
game goes," Modin said. "It's the way we played at the start of
the season. Every time we get a chance to get that feeling back, we
know we're on the right track."
Martin St. Louis got his own record in the game, scoring a fifth
short-handed goal for the Lightning. Cory Stillman ignited the
three-goal third period to help the Lightning win for the second
time in as many nights.
"It's two games and we're building on this," St. Louis said.
"To make the playoffs, you have to have some winning streaks. You
can't make the playoffs playing .500."
Goaltender John Grahame made 18 saves as Tampa Bay moved into a
tie with idle Atlanta for first place in the Southeast Division.
The Lightning, who had a 2-8-2 streak before turning things around,
have two games in hand.
Scott Gomez gave New Jersey the lead just 1:28 after the Devils'
honored recently retired defenseman Ken Daneyko in a pregame
That was the only highlight on a night the Lightning took
advantage of the absence of a flu-ridden defenseman Scott Stevens
to outshoot New Jersey 37-19.
The loss was the second straight and the fourth in six games
(1-4-1) for the defending Stanley Cup champions. It also came just
two days after Devils coach Pat Burns questioned the team's heart
following an embarrassing loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
"I think we've past the stage where we think we are going to
get over it," Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said. "I think
it's important for us to realize we are not doing well. We're going
to get out of it eventually, but we don't want it to drag on too
Stillman broke a 1-1 tie at 1:22 of the third period, beating
Brodeur in close on a nice pass from behind the net by Brad
Andreychuk used his long reach to put a cross-ice pass by Tim
Taylor into an open net at 6:38.
Seconds after the ensuing faceoff, Richards poked a puck off the
stick of a Devils player, setting up Modin alone in front. Brodeur
stopped the first shot but Modin didn't miss the second.
"I don't keep track of those things, but they were quick,"
Brodeur said of the last two goals.
St. Louis, who celebrated his selection as a starter in the NHL
All-Star game with two goals and two assists in a win over Montreal
on Thursday, got his record goal with a minute left in the first
period, beating Brodeur in close.
The play was set up when Devils defenseman Brian Rafalski broke
his stick on a slap shot at the other end.
Gomez powered his way past Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle and
flicked a shot over the shoulder of Grahame.
New Jersey had two great chances to extend the lead on
breakaways right after the goal. Patrik Elias failed to finish
after getting Grahame out of position and the big goaltender
stopped Brian Gionta on the second.<
^Notes@: Rob Zamuner held the old Lightning record for short-handed
goals in a season with four in 1996-97. ... Pittsburgh holds the
record for the fastest two goals against New Jersey -- eight seconds
apart in 1986. ... The start of the second period was delayed 15
minutes after a transformer problem in a nearby city caused a power
surge that knocked out the overhead lights. ... The Lightning are
7-1 in games in which they score short-handed.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: IZOD Center Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Referees: Dave Jackson, Kevin Pollock Linesmen: Derek Amell, Michel Cormier
Attendance: 19,040 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Scott Gomez (5)
Assists: Patrik Elias, Brian Rafalski
Martin St. Louis (15)
(Shorthanded) Assists: Henrik Bergfors, Henrik Bergfors
No scoring this period
Cory Stillman (13)
Assists: Brad Richards, Fredrik Modin
Dave Andreychuk (7)
Assists: Tim Taylor, Henrik Bergfors
Fredrik Modin (12)
Assists: Brad Richards, Henrik Bergfors