NHL Game Summary - Florida at Tampa Bay
(Saturday, February 14th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Florida 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and an assist and Martin St. Louis scored the decisive goal as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Florida Panthers, 3-2, at the St. Pete Times Forum.
John Grahame made 29 saves for the Lightning, who have won 14 of 18 contests (14-2-1-1) and are unbeaten in four straight (3-0-1).
Roberto Luongo stopped 33-of-36 shots for the Panthers, who had a three-game win streak snapped.
"Tonight I thought both teams scrapped," said Lightning head coach John Tortorella. "I thought they played very hard and we found a way to get it done."
The game was tied at 1-1 when Cory Sarich scored 5:31 into the second period to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. Lecavalier had the puck behind the net and fed it to Sarich, who was stationed just outside the crease. Sarich wristed the puck off the far post and into the net.
St. Louis tallied a short-handed goal on a breakaway with 1:18 left in the middle frame to put the Lightning up 3-1.
It was the 14th short-handed goal scored by St. Louis with Tampa Bay, tying Rob Zamuner's team record.
Florida's Mike Van Ryn made it a 3-2 contest when he scored on a blast from the right point at 13:19 of the third period, but Grahame stopped the Panthers' other seven shots of the frame to preserve the victory.
"Johnny (Grahame) made some big saves in the second period on their power play," said Tortorella. "He just put on a clinic there for a few minutes."
The Lightning beat Florida for the first time in four tries this season (1-2-1).
Lecavlier's 20th goal of the season at 13:06 of the first period gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead, but Mathieu Biron netted his third goal with 54 seconds left in the stanza to even the score.
Florida was trying to win four straight games for the first time since February 10-19, 2001...The Panthers were 0-for-4 on the power play, while Tampa Bay went 0-for-2...Florida was without right wing Valeri Bure (groin)...St. Louis has four goals and four assists during a four-game point streak...Lecavalier has a six-game point streak (5g, 5a)...Referee Terry Gregson officiated his 1,400th game.
02/14 23:34:36 ET