<
>

Lecavalier scores go-ahead goal

2/12/2004

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Not even a dismal start could slow the Tampa
Bay Lightning.

Vincent Lecavalier scored the go-ahead goal with 5:04 left, and
the Lightning overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Montreal
Canadiens 5-3 Thursday night.

Tampa Bay scored four goals on 23 shots during the third period
in winning for just the second time when trailing after two
(2-13-2).

"We came in sound asleep ... we weren't ready to play,"
Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "The team stayed together.
We just kept coming."

Lecavalier, who also had two assists, was positioned in the low
slot when he redirected Darryl Sydor's shot past Jose Theodore.

"Obviously, it feels good coming back," Lecavalier said. "It
proves we've got a lot of character. Everybody stepped up to the
plate."

Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards each scored two goals for the
Lightning. St. Louis got Tampa Bay even at 2 with bad-angle goals
in the second and third periods.

The Lightning are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.

Saku Koivu had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens. Andrei
Markov and Jan Bulis scored the other Montreal goals.

"It's always OK if you get some points," Koivu said. "But
when you blow the lead, it's pretty frustrating."

After wasting a two-goal lead, the Canadiens went up 3-2 on
Bulis' goal at 7:45 of the third. The Lightning tied it when
Richards scored at 13:37.

Richards scored his second of the game into an empty net with
15.4 seconds to go.

"We did what we had to do," said Tampa Bay's Ruslan Fedotenko,
who had three third-period assists. "We started shooting the puck.
We just tried to dominate and keep putting the puck in the net. It
paid off."

Montreal is 22-3-0 when leading after 40 minutes.

"We just lost our composure," coach Claude Julien said. "We
seemed like a team that was panicking for whatever reason. It ended
up costing us. It's as simple as that."

The Canadiens took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by
Koivu and Markov.

Koivu scored on a backhander after Tampa Bay defenseman Pavel
Kubina blocked his pass during a two-on-one at 4:28. Koivu then
assisted on Markov's power-play goal from the top of the right
circle with 3:06 left.

St. Louis made it 2-1 with a power-play goal at 6:22 of the
second. The right wing's shot from along the goal line went in off
Theodore.

Just 36 seconds after Richards hit the post, St. Louis tied it
at 2 at 4:44 of the third when his shot from near the boards just
in front the goal line deflected off Koivu.

Game notes
Montreal D Sheldon Souray did not play after hurting his
left knee in Tuesday's 2-1 loss at Florida. Julien said Souray will
be evaluated by team doctors early next week. ... Canadiens D Craig
Rivet returned after missing two games with a bruised right foot.
... Koivu has 10 goals and 29 points in 21 games against Tampa Bay.
... St. Louis has three goals and seven points in the past three
games. ... The Lightning have trailed after the first period just
11 times this season.