Final OT

Series (Game 5 of 5)

Tampa Bay leads 3-0

Game 1: Thursday, October 10th
Game 2: Monday, October 28th
Game 3: Saturday, February 8th
Game 4: Thursday, February 27th
Game 5: Saturday, March 29th

Panthers 1

(23-34-9, 68 pts)

Lightning 1

(35-23-5, 90 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 29, 2003

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

1 2 3 OT T
FLA 0 0 1 01
TB 0 0 1 01

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

R. Luongo (Panthers - G): Saves: 39, Save Pct.: .975

N. Khabibulin (Lightning - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: .967

Khabibulin extends unbeaten stretch to 15 games

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Martin St. Louis' late goal got the Tampa Bay Lightning a valuable point and further frustrated the Florida Panthers.

 Martin St. Louis
St. Louis

St. Louis tied it with 36.1 seconds left in the third period as the Southeast Division-leading Lightning tied the Panthers 1-1 Saturday night.

"It was great," St. Louis said. "It's a big point."

St. Louis redirected Brad Richards' shot from the top of the left circle after goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was pulled for an extra skater.

"I can't catch a break," Florida goalie Roberto Luongo said. "The guy tips it, it goes off the ice and it goes off the crossbar and in. How lucky can you get? It's been like that all year."

Tampa Bay, 6-0-5 the past 11 games, leads Washington by two points in the Southeast. The Capitals lost 4-3 in overtime at Toronto. The Lightning, looking for their first division title, have four games left. Washington has three remaining.

"We really wanted the two points," Tampa Bay's Dan Boyle said. "But we've got to look ahead. We still have a game at hand and two points up. We're in the driver's seat."

Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier had three good scoring chances in overtime.

Khabibulin made 29 saves in extending his unbeaten streak to 15-games (11-0-4).

Luongo had 39 saves for the Panthers, who have scored one goal in six consecutive games. Florida entered with a five-game losing streak.

"I feel badly for him because he played well," Panthers coach Mike Keenan said of his goalie. "I think that they had their finger a little heavy on the shot clock, but Khabibulin and Louie both played exceptional well."

Olli Jokinen put the Panthers up 1-0 at 1:07 of the third period with a power-play goal. Viktor Kozlov set it up with a pass through the slot from the left circle.

Florida got just one shot, from the right circle by Jokinen, during a four-minute power play in the first period. While short-handed, Tampa Bay's Fredrik Modin had his shot during a breakaway stopped by Luongo.

Luongo kept it scoreless by turning aside 18 shots in the second period. He made several strong saves, including in-close chances by Dave Andreychuk and Dan Boyle, during a Tampa Bay power play.

The Florida goalie also reached back to make a glove save on Modin's slap shot from the top of the right circle and made a save on St. Louis during a three-on-one later in the period.

"We missed a lot of opportunities," Boyle said. "If just one of them went in, it would have been a different game."

Khabibulin had a pad stop on Jokinen, who was alone in the low slot with six minutes left in the second.

Game notes
Tampa Bay RW Ben Clymer returned after missing four games with a groin strain. ... Florida C Stephen Weiss has gone 13 games without a point. ... Lightning C Vincent Lecavalier assisted on the St. Louis goal and has five goals and three assists during a four-game point streak.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press