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Khabibulin extends unbeaten stretch to 15 games

3/29/2003

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

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.

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