The defending Stanley Cup champions scored twice with the man
advantage to end an 0-for-40 drought and went on to beat the Los
Angeles Kings 4-1 on Tuesday night in the franchise's 1,000th
"It feels good to be able to get some power-play goals," said
Martin St. Louis, who scored the first one and set up the other one
by Vincent Lecavalier. "We hadn't been getting enough shots
through. We weren't going to the net and trying to bang one in. It
doesn't have to be a pretty play."
Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for Tampa Bay and Norman Milley
scored his first NHL goal into an empty net with 1:10 remaining.
John Grahame made 22 saves, one of them on Sean Avery's penalty
shot after Pavel Kubina took down the Kings' center from behind on
a breakaway with 16:67 remaining.
"I am very happy, as far as how all four lines, all six
defensemen and the goalie played tonight," coach John Tortorella
said. "The key to us becoming a better team and a competitive team
in this league was our work habits and our accountability. And if
we lose that, we are an average to a below-average team -- as we've
seen when we don't work hard."
Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, who have lost four of their
last five games -- including a 10-1 thumping by the Sabres on
Saturday night in Buffalo. But facing an angry team wasn't on the
minds of Tampa Bay's coaching staff.
"To be honest, we didn't say one word before the game about the
other team, and that's no disrespect to L.A.," Tortorella said.
"We have enough problems of our own to even be concerned about
"Our special teams was a key tonight -- not only scoring the two
power play goals, but we ran into some penalty problems and would
up killing off three in the last 10 minutes of the second period.
That was important."
The Lightning are one point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern
Conference and need a successful power play to have a chance to
give themselves a chance to repeat.
"We've got a long way to go, and no one in this room panics,"
Grahame said. "We had a successful second half when we won the
Cup, and that's what we're focusing on right now. Everybody played
great tonight and it was a good team effort. That's what we were
looking for and that's what we got."
Kings defenseman Denis Grebeshkov was sent off for boarding and
Avery got a double-minor for high-sticking Kubina 8 seconds later,
giving the Lightning a two-man advantage at 7:36 of the second
period. Lecavalier scored 41 seconds into Grebeshkov's penalty,
one-timing St. Louis' pass for his 19th goal to put Tampa Bay ahead
Kings goalie Mathieu Garon left the game after the first period
because of a bruised shoulder, which he injured while stopping a
shot by Fedotenko with 8:05 left in the period.
"I was cut from a shot, and I can only move my arm a little bit
right now," Garon said. "Nothing in my shoulder is broken, but
I'm having more tests tomorrow."
Jason LaBarbera, who rejoined the Kings on Monday following a
brief conditioning assignment with Manchester of the AHL, replaced
Garon at the start of the second period and made 12 saves.
"When he got hit, I thought maybe he would shake it off,"
LaBarbera said. "When he came back in the dressing room, I could
tell he was in a lot of pain. Then with 7 minutes to go in the
first (intermission), I was told I was in. It's not the easiest
thing in the world, but it's part of the job and you have to be
Tampa Bay, 1-for-51 on the power play in its previous 10 games,
opened the scoring the first time it a man advantage.
St. Louis had the puck on the goal line about 20 feet to the
right of the net and banked it in off Garon's upper body for his
17th goal at 6:59 of the first period. Just 2 seconds were left on
Mattias Norstrom's penalty for hooking Fredrik Modin.
"Obviously, for us to get a goal in the first period on the PP
helped the morale for everybody," St. Louis said. "But it doesn't
feel like the monkey's off our back. There's still a lot of work to
be done. We've got to get some wins together."
Kings LW Luc Robitaille played in his 1,400th
regular-season game, something only 22 other players have done. The
19-year veteran has 660 goals, the most among left wings in NHL
history. Second on the goal-scoring list at that position is Dave
Andreychuk, who was waived by Tampa Bay on Jan. 10. ... The
Lightning have won nine of the 12 games they've played against the
Kings in Los Angeles. Their only loss was on Nov. 6, 1997.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: STAPLES Center Location: Los Angeles, California
Referees: Greg Kimmerly, Dennis LaRue Linesmen: Andy McElman, Pierre Racicot
Attendance: 17,017 (93.9% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Martin St. Louis (17)
(Power Play) Assists: Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier
Dustin Brown (8)
Assists: Sean Avery, Nathan Dempsey
Vincent Lecavalier (19)
(Power Play) Assists: Martin St. Louis, Pavel Kubina
Ruslan Fedotenko (12)
Assists: Vinny Prospal, Evgeny Artyukhin
Norm Milley (1)
(Empty Net) Assists: Tim Taylor, Vinny Prospal