NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Atlanta
(Wednesday, February 25th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Atlanta 2
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Vincent Lecavalier scored twice to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers in a Southeast Division battle from Philips Arena.
Brad Richards added a goal and an assist and Cory Stillman also registered a goal for Tampa, which has recorded at least a point in nine straight games (6-0-1-2). Nikolai Khabibulin made 23 saves in the victory.
"It was great to get our two points and get out of here," Lecavalier said. "We've had trouble against them."
Ben Simon and Marc Savard each scored for the Thrashers, who lost their second straight. Pasi Nurminen stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced in the loss.
The Lightning struck first with 7:53 left in the first period. Ruslan Fedotenko took a pass behind the goal line to the left of Nurminen, and hit a streaking Lecavalier with a pass into the slot. Nurminen stopped Lecavalier's first offering, but the big center was able to put the rebound home while sliding toward the back boards.
Atlanta, though, tied the game up exactly four minutes later. Shawn Heins carried the puck from the left faceoff circle behind the net from left-to- right, and tried a wraparound to the near post. Khabibulin was equal to the task, but Simon followed Heins' path and tucked the rebound into the net.
Khabibulin had to make just four saves in the second period, while Nurminen faced 11 shots, shutting down Tampa Bay for over six minutes of power play time as the score remained 1-1 heading into the final stanza.
Richards gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead just 23 seconds into the third. Fredrik Modin took a shot from below the right faceoff circle, which hit off of Heatley's skate and trickled out to toward the low slot. Richards pounced on the puck and fired a wrister past Nurminen.
Just over 12 minutes later, Dany Heatley punched the puck forward into the offensive zone on the power play and Shawn McEachern picked it up near the right faceoff circle. He shuffled the puck on the backhand over to Savard in the high slot, and he wristed the puck past Khabibulin for the equalizer.
Lecavalier, though, gave the Lightning a lead they wouldn't relinquish with just 1:24 remaining. Lecavalier carried the puck into the zone and zipped through the slot. He gave Nurminen a head fake and blew the puck by the befuddled netminder for the go-ahead goal.
"I hadn't scored on a breakaway in a long time," Lecavalier said. "If you don't score on a breakaway, it does something to your confidence."
Stillman added an empty-net goal with 27 seconds to play to cap the scoring.
The third-period tally was the third game-winning goal of the season for Lecavalier and marked his fourth multi-goal game of the campaign ...Khabibulin notched his 199th career win...Fedotenko recorded two assists...The Lightning have won seven of their last 10 road games...Atlanta is 0-4-2 in its last six home tilts.
02/26 00:20:06 ET