Lightning fast start reaches four straight wins

Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2003

TAMPA, Fla. Special teams and Nikolai Khabibulin were the difference in the Tampa Bay Lightning's fourth straight win.

Khabibulin made 35 saves, and Pavel Kubina scored a short-handed, breakaway goal 3:28 into overtime to lift the undefeated Lightning over the previously unbeaten Atlanta Thrashers 3-2 Tuesday night.

''The only things that worked tonight were the power play and Nik Khabibulin,'' Lightning coach John Tortorella said. ''We didn't play well. Sometimes you're just flat.''

Cory Stillman scored two power-play goals for the Lightning. He also had a pair of power-play goals in a 5-1 win over Boston on Oct. 10.

Kubina scored on a backhander for the Lightning, 4-0 for the first time in franchise history.

''We were lucky to sneak this one out,'' Stillman said. ''If Khabby doesn't stand on his head again, you're looking at 2-2 instead of 4-0.''

Tampa Bay was outshot 37-23. The Lightning did convert two of six power plays and kept the Thrashers scoreless in seven man-advantage situations.

Late third-period goals by Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk and Marc Savard forced overtime. The Thrashers (3-0-2-1) have earned a point in all six games this season.

''It's a Grade-A effort ... A-plus,'' coach Bob Hartley said. ''I'm real proud of the guys. We had every reason just to pack it in and say 'Khabibulin played well,' but we kept going at him.''

Flames 3, Wild 2

ST. PAUL, Minn. Rookie Matt Lombardi scored his first NHL goal and added an assist as Calgary beat Minnesota.

Calgary goalie Jamie McLennan, playing in place of the injured Roman Turek, stopped 20 shots to improve to 3-0.

The Wild are winless in five games (0-4-1).

Minnesota forward Richard Park, playing in his first home game after missing the season's first five games because of a right knee sprain, scored his first goal 5:01 in to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.

Jarome Iginla and Dean McAmmond added goals for Calgary.

Bruins 4, Avalanche 1

DENVER Glen Murray and Joe Thornton each had three assists, Felix Potvin made 26 saves, and Boston defeated Colorado.

The Bruins completed a 4-1-1 road trip with their fourth straight victory.

First-period goals by Brian Rolston and Jeff Jillson gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead they never relinquished.

David Aebischer had 30 saves for Colorado.

Blues 6, Oilers 4

EDMONTON, Alberta Jamal Mayers scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and St. Louis rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat Edmonton.

Mayers gave the Blues a 4-3 lead with his first goal of the season 5:26 into the period. Pavol Demitra got the Blues even just 15 seconds earlier.

Petr Cajanek made it 5-3 at 18:13 of the second with a power-play goal, his third goal in three games.

Doug Weight, Mike Danton and Barret Jackman also scored for the Blues.

Kings 4, Flyers 0

LOS ANGELES Roman Cechmanek kept his former Philadelphia teammates in check with 22 saves, and defenseman Martin Strbak scored his first two NHL goals in Los Angeles' victory.

The shutout was the 21st for Cechmanek, who was dealt to the Kings by the Flyers after another subpar playoff performance. He is 3-2 in five starts with the Kings and has allowed 12 goals.

Jaroslav Modry and Alexander Frolov also scored for the Kings, who lost their previous four meetings with the Flyers. Ziggy Palffy and Joe Corvo each had two assists.

The Kings held Philadelphia to two shots in the second period.

Mighty Ducks 2, Sharks 0

SAN JOSE, Calif. Martin Gerber made 34 saves in his second career shutout as Anaheim got its first win of the season.

Sandis Ozolinsh and Petr Sykora scored goals, and Andy McDonald had two assists as the Mighty Ducks took an early lead and easily held it for just their sixth victory in their last 16 games against San Jose.

Evgeni Nabokov stopped 25 shots for the Sharks, who rarely tested Gerber in his second start of the season. San Jose has scored just one goal in the first three games of a five-game homestand.

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