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Tampa Bay plays last five at home

3/23/2004

TORONTO (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning showed why they're the top
team in the Eastern Conference by finishing their road schedule
with an impressive victory.

Former Maple Leafs Fredrik Modin and Dave Andreychuk scored
power-play goals as the East-leading Lightning
pounded Toronto 7-2 Tuesday night.

The Lightning, who play their final five games at home, finished
22-12-4-3 on the road this season.

"That's a big step for this team," Tampa Bay coach John
Tortorella said. "A couple of years ago, we really struggled on the
road. We're 10 games over .500. Our road season is over, and it's
nice to end it with a win."

Brad Lukowich, Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin Cibak also scored for the Lightning, who
remained one point ahead of Philadelphia and two in front of Boston
for first place in the East with 99 points.

Martin St. Louis picked up three assists to give him 89 points,
tops in the NHL, and a franchise high for the Lightning.

Tampa Bay, which had lost four of five games coming in, also
took a five-point lead on the Leafs.

"We've beat some good teams on the road this year," St. Louis
said. "We went to Colorado and beat them 3-0. We beat Toronto
tonight. We beat Philly, and we tied Detroit. For us, those are the
games that are a good gauge on where you're at."

Alexander Mogilny and Nik Antropov had goals for the Maple
Leafs, who fell three points behind Boston for first place in the
Northeast Division.

The Lightning went 2-for-5 on the power play after entering the
game in a 1-for-19 slump.

The Maple Leafs, the most-penalized team in the NHL, received
two in the first minute of the game, leading to Modin's goal at
2:49.

"We weren't a very smart hockey team, and quite frankly we
didn't want to work hard enough for it," Toronto coach Pat Quinn
said.

Mogilny, honored before the game for getting his 1,000th point
last week, tied it on the power play. But Lukowich gave Tampa Bay
the lead for good at 6:21.

Then Fedotenko backhanded a weak shot past Ed Belfour. And the
fans booed after Belfour skated too far out of the net, allowing
Cory Stillman to find Richards, who scored into an open net late in
the period.

Antropov cut it to 4-2 early in the second period, but
Andreychuk scored on a power play to make it 5-2.

Lecavalier and Cibak scored in the final three minutes of the
game.

"I just didn't get it done," Belfour said. "I'll look at the
tape and see what I have to do."

The Maple Leafs, booed off the ice as the final buzzer sounded,
have allowed 11 power-play goals in their last five games.

Game notes
Tampa Bay outshot Toronto 40-29. ... Tampa Bay already has won the Southeast Division and is guaranteed no lower than
a third seed and home-ice advantage in the first round of the
playoffs. ... Toronto enforcer Wade Belak served the first game of
his eight-game suspension for his two-handed slash to the face of
Colorado defenseman Ossi Vaananen. He will miss the first two
games of the playoffs.