Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Tampa Bay leads 4-0

Game 1: Thursday, December 18th
Lightning5Final
OT
Flyers4
Game 2: Saturday, January 3rd
Flyers1Final
Lightning6
Game 3: Monday, February 2nd
Lightning2Final
Flyers1
Game 4: Tuesday, February 17th
Flyers2Final
Lightning5

Lightning 5

(14-10-1, 33 pts)

Flyers 4

(17-4-3, 45 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 18, 2003

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 OT T
TB 1 1 2 15
PHI 0 1 3 04

Top Skaters

Tampa Bay: M. St. Louis - 2 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +2

Philadelphia: J. Roenick - 1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, +1

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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