<
>

Philly drops third-straight at home

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- As far as Martin St. Louis is concerned, a
little cheating never hurts.

St. Louis scored the tying goal late in the third period and
added the winner 2:03 into overtime to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning
to a 5-4 victory Thursday night over the suddenly slumping
Philadelphia Flyers.

"I was kind of cheating a bit, hoping that we'd get the puck
and have the two-on-one," St. Louis explained about his
game-winner. "They put it right on my tape."

Tampa Bay snapped a four-game losing streak while sending
Philadelphia to its third consecutive home loss and stretching the
Flyers' winless streak to five.

"You kind of have to cheat a bit during overtime," St. Louis
said. "There's no use playing for the tie. You want to get the win
and we did that."

Philadelphia started the season 12-0-2 at home, but have gone
0-1-0-2 there since. They are 0-1-2-2 in their last five overall
and Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock is not happy.

Hitchcock uncharacteristically declined to take questions after
the game and quickly left the podium after making a statement.

"When you're careless with the puck, it doesn't really matter
how many chances you get," Hitchcock said. "When you take
penalties when the game is on the line, you are not going to win
many hockey games. ... And we (were) very poor under pressure with
the puck in critical areas."

Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, and Cory Stillman also scored
for Tampa Bay, which managed only six goals during its losing
streak.

"We've been having a lot of meetings (about our offense),"
Tampa Bay's Andre Roy said. "We all knew that guys were kind of
struggling. Basically we wanted to shoot pucks from everywhere and
drive the net. Guys shot from everywhere and we got some good
rebounds and shots and some good results."

Tony Amonte, Mark Recchi, Michal Handzus, and Jeremy Roenick
scored for the Flyers, who still lead the NHL with 45 points.

Nikolai Khabibulin had 37 saves for the Lightning, outshot
41-28. Jeff Hackett, who stopped only 23 shots, was not satisfied
with his performance.

"Things are not going well now," Hackett said. "I am working
my hardest. I feel bad about what is going on. I am fighting it a
little bit right now."

Fredrik Modin found St. Louis with a perfect pass in the slot
and St. Louis slammed it into an open net to the right Hackett for
the tying goal with 8:02 left in regulation.

St. Louis then took a cross-ice pass from Dave Andreychuk and
flipped it from in close to win it.

Lecavalier put the Lightning ahead with 2:00 left in the first
period with a one-timer from the left circle that went through
Hackett's legs. It was his third goal in 18 games since having a
hat trick on Nov. 8.

Richards made it 2-0 with 1:14 left in the second period. After
Roenick hit the crossbar, Richards picked up the loose puck, skated
the length of the ice, and scored.

Amonte scored 21 seconds later, tallying his 382nd goal that
enabled him to pass former Flyers player Reggie Leach into 84th
place on the NHL career list.

Recchi tied it 2-2 just 19 seconds into the third, converting a
feed in the slot by Roenick. But Stillman put in a rebound at 5:08
to put Tampa Bay back in front with his first goal in 14 games.

Handzus scored on a wraparound to tie it 15 seconds later.
Roenick then put the Flyers ahead 4-3 at 8:08.

Roenick's goal (468) tied him for second place among
American-born goal scorers with Pat LaFontaine. His earlier assist
(634) tied him for fifth among Americans with Neal Broten.

Roy and Philadelphia's Donald Brashear dropped their gloves just
two seconds in. Chris Dingman, of the Lightning, fought Jim
Vandermeer 14 seconds later.

Game notes
Roy went over 700 career penalty minutes. ... The Flyers
have trailed 1-0 in 11 straight games but have gone 4-2-3-2. ...
The Flyers, who came into the game with the NHL's best power play
at home, went 1-for-3 against Tampa Bay, the penalty-killing
leaders on the road. ... Philadelphia rookie D Joni Pitkanen was a
healthy scratch for the second time this season. ... Khabibulin is
2-10 against the Flyers.