Series (Game 5 of 6)

Tampa Bay leads 4-2

Game 1: Tuesday, November 4th
Game 2: Friday, November 14th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 3rd
Game 4: Monday, February 23rd
Game 5: Saturday, February 28th
Game 6: Saturday, March 27th

Capitals 2

(20-35-2, 50 pts)

Lightning 4

(35-17-5, 82 pts)

7:30 PM ET, February 28, 2004

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

1 2 3 T
WSH 0 1 12
TB 2 0 24

F. Modin (Lightning - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

C. Stillman (Lightning - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Andreychuk (Lightning - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Lightning winger has 75 points

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning capitalized on a lucky bounce.

Cory Stillman scored the go-ahead goal with 3:29 left in the third period as the Southeast Division-leading Lightning beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 Saturday night.

Brad Richards' shot during a two-on-one hit the post, then deflected off Stillman's shoulder into the net.

"It wasn't pretty, that's for sure," Stillman said. "I was fortunate to take it off the shoulder. It was the difference in a game we needed."

Martin St. Louis added an empty-net goal on a power play with 10.3 seconds left to take over the NHL scoring lead with 75 points.

Washington, which trailed by two early on, tied it on Alexander Semin's bad-angle goal from the bottom of the left circle at 8:44 of the third.

Fredrik Modin had two first-period goals for the Lightning, who trail Philadelphia and Ottawa by two points for the top record in the Eastern Conference. The Lightning are 14-1-1-4 the past 20 games.

"We got off to a good start," Modin said. "We let them come back into the game, but we managed to come out on top."

Capitals defenseman Sergei Gonchar, one of several Washington players mentioned in trade rumors, missed his second straight game with what the Capitals said was the flu. Gonchar did take part in the pregame skate approximately 30 minutes before the game.

"I would say he's going to play the next game," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "He's pretty close."

The Capitals next play Tuesday at home against Florida.

Dainius Zubrus had the other Washington goal. The Capitals are last in the Southeast, 32 points behind Tampa Bay.

"In a game like that, you definitely want to get at least a point out of it," Zubrus said. "It was a tough ending."

The Capitals, who beat Florida 4-1 Friday just hours after trading leading scorer Robert Lang to Detroit, had five of the first six shots.

Tampa Bay's Nikolai Khabibulin kept it scoreless with several strong saves, including an in-close chance by Joel Kwiatkowski. He finished with 21 saves.

Modin made it 1-0 at 9:14 of the first period, five seconds after a Lightning power play ended. He skated in from the right-wing boards and scored on a wrist shot.

Tampa Bay went up 2-0 on Modin's second goal of the game with 4:58 left in the period.

Zubrus scored his first goal in 16 games 11:16 into the second. He made a spin move in the left circle and beat Khabibulin with a backhander.

Washington's Sebastien Charpentier turned aside 19 shots. Capitals No. 1 goalie Olaf Kolzig served as the backup.

"Hopefully, I get all my bad bounces in that game and I'm clear for the rest of the year," Charpentier said.

Game notes

Modin became Tampa Bay's fifth 20-goal scorer this season. The total is a team record. ... The Capitals are 1-21-3 when trailing after one period. ... Lightning D Jassen Cullimore missed his second straight game because of a bruised shoulder. ... Stillman also had an assist, giving him seven assists and 12 points during a seven-game point-scoring streak. ... St. Louis has an 11-game point streak (seven goals and 20 points).

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press