Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Series starts 3/8

Game 1: Monday, March 8th
Red Wings1

Lightning 1

(39-17-5, 91 pts)

Red Wings 1

(39-17-2, 90 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 8, 2004

Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

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

M. Legace (Red Wings - G): Saves: 37, Save Pct.: .974

N. Khabibulin (Lightning - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .966

V. Lecavalier (Lightning - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Tampa Bay holds on to overall points lead

DETROIT (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning clinched a division title and the Detroit Red Wings got a player back from injury but might have lost another.

Fredrik Modin's goal with 7:39 left in regulation lifted Tampa Bay to a 1-1 tie with Detroit on Monday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the NHL.

The Lightning, the Eastern Conference leaders with 91 points, assured their second consecutive Southeast Division title.

"It's another stepping stone," said Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis. "We've got to keep going in the same direction."

Detroit leads the West with 90 points. Tomas Holmstrom scored for Detroit.

Detroit defenseman Derian Hatcher, signed away from Dallas before this season, returned to the lineup for the first time since tearing a knee ligament in the third game of the season.

"I was trying to do some things, just not too much," said Hatcher, who played 15 minutes, 43 seconds and was plus-1. "But not too much. I didn't want to hurt myself."

He missed 64 games.

But the Red Wings might have lost another key player. Center Robert Lang, acquired from Washington on Feb. 27, didn't play in the third period. Lang is two points behind St. Louis for the NHL scoring lead.

"He's going for X-rays, an upper body injury," coach Dave Lewis said. "We'll know more tomorrow."

He said Lang was injured in the first period on a hit Lewis didn't see. Lang left the game with 2:20 remaining in the second period.

Detroit recently lost centers Kris Draper (shoulder) and Pavel Datsyuk (ankle). The team has been hampered by injuries all season. At one point in November, 10 regulars were out with injuries.

Both Detroit's Manny Legace and Nikolai Khabibulin of Tampa Bay made several outstanding saves. Legace finished with 37 saves, and Khabibulin stopped 28 shots.

Legace made the two biggest saves of the game back-to-back.

They came about eight minutes into the third period on a three-on-one rush. He dived across the net to make a stop on St. Louis' one-timer from the slot, which came off a pass from Vincent Lecavalier.

The rebound went directly to Ruslan Fedotenko at the bottom of the right circle. He also drilled a one-timer at the net, but Legace dived out again and caught it in his glove.

"He was tremendous," Modin said. "He made some really nice saves at key times of the game."

Khabibulin made a nice glove save on Nicklas Lidstrom from the slot with 14.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

"Hobby made a tough stop coming down, on Lidstrom," Modin said.

Holmstrom gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with 4:41 remaining in the second period when he split the defensive pairing of Brad Lukowich and Dan Boyle and beat Khabibulin high on the glove side as he was being pulled down by both defensemen.

Modin swatted in a loose puck from the crease to tie it.

Game notes

The Lightning are owned by Bill Davidson, who lives in the Detroit area and owns the NBA Pistons. ... Holmstrom had gone 10 games without a goal and seven games without a point. ... Tampa Bay's Cory Stillman had an assist and has five goals and 11 assists in his last 11 games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press