Final

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Tampa Bay leads 1-0

Game 1: Thursday, December 8th
Blues4Final
Lightning5

Blues 4

(5-17-3, 13 pts)

Lightning 5

(16-10-3, 35 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 8, 2005

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

1 2 3 T
STL 1 2 14
TB 1 1 35

M. St. Louis (Lightning - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

F. Modin (Lightning - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

M. Sillinger (Blues - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

Identity crisis: St. Louis helps Tampa Bay down St. Louis

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The struggling St. Louis Blues keep finding ways to lose.

John Grahame tied a Lightning record with his eighth consecutive win, and Martin St. Louis scored a tiebreaking goal with 6:30 left in Tampa Bay's 5-4 victory against the Blues on Thursday night.

Grahame made 18 saves in equaling the top Tampa Bay winning streak set by Nikolai Khabibulin in 2004. Ruslan Fedotenko had two goals, including an empty-netter with 33.5 seconds remaining.

Mike Sillinger and Keith Tkachuk each had two goals and an assist for the Blues, who have lost five of six and have the NHL's worst record (5-17-3). Tkachuk got the Blues within 5-4 with 18 seconds remaining.

"We had them down 3-1 ... we can't be scared to make the next play," Sillinger said. "It's almost like we're afraid of success. You've got to know how to win. You've got to want it."

"You can say what you want, whether we're a fragile team or this and that. That's baloney. We're in the NHL. I don't care how much youth we have in the lineup, it doesn't matter. It's just a fine line between winning and losing."

The Blues (2-4-2) have lost six of eight when leading after two periods.

"The way things have been going with our club is that we were trying to sit on it, protect that lead and it's kind of the wrong thing," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "You've got to keep going after them because that's where we had success in the first two periods."

St. Louis scored on a rebound shot from the left circle to put Tampa Bay up 4-3. Tim Taylor got the Lightning even at 3 when he lifted an in-close shot over Patrick Lalime at 6:15 of the third.

"I think we showed our team's strength," Fedotenko said. "Even 3-1 down, we find a way to win the game."

Fredrik Modin also scored for Tampa Bay, which has won 9 of 11. The Lightning hadn't played since beating Chicago last Friday.

"We calmly went about our business and found a way to get two points," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "I think we were playing well enough and creating enough scoring chances not to change, not to panic."

Modin put Tampa Bay ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal at 12:13 of the first period. Sillinger tied it at 1 just over a minute later at 13:19.

Lalime made a diving stop on Vinny Prospal and turned aside an in-close chance by Vincent Lecavalier during a Lightning power play early in the second. Tampa Bay outshot the Blues 8-1 during the first six minutes of the period.

Lalime stopped 28 shots.

Sillinger made it 2-1 on a rebound goal at 10:49. He scored after Grahame made a save on Tkachuk's point-blank shot.

St. Louis went up 3-1 on Tkachuk's rebound power-play goal with 5:25 left in the second. Fedotenko cut the Lightning deficit to 3-2 at 16:39.

"I thought we deserved a better fate," Kitchen said. "Our guys worked hard. I'm happy with our effort. We just want to get rewarded sometime along the line for having that kind of effort."

Game notes


St. Louis captain Dallas Drake and RW Scott Young both sat out with sore backs. ... Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk has gone 18 games without a goal. He has 636 in his career, including two this season in 28 games. ... Tkachuk has a point in all five games since returning from a rib injury. He has five goals and 11 points over the stretch. ... The Lightning are 2-6-0 when trailing after two periods.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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