<
>

Lightning strike, gets first Boston win in 12 years

BOSTON (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning kept up their strong play
and ended a long drought in Boston.

Dmitry Afanasenkov and Vaclav Prospal scored two goals apiece,
and the Tampa Bay Lightning won in Boston for the first time in
nearly 12 years with a 6-5 victory over the Bruins on Saturday
night.

"Somebody mentioned we hadn't won here in a long time,"
Lightning goalie John Grahame said. "It was nice to get the monkey
off our back and continue to play the way we've been playing."

Tampa Bay's only franchise victory in Boston came on April 9,
1994, and the Lightning were 0-16-5 here since. The Lightning also
averted a season sweep as the Bruins had won the first three
matchups.

"This was one of the craziest games I've ever been involved
with," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "There were more
fluky goals than I've ever seen in my life."

Dan Boyle and Brad Richards had three assists for the Lightning,
who are 10-2-1 over the last 13 games. Tampa Bay has outscored its
opponents 15-5 in the third period during that stretch.

Prospal scored the winning goal during a two-man advantage with
6:12 remaining in regulation.

"For us it has been a really good stretch," Prospal said.
"The last game was important to win before the (Olympic) break."

Ryan Craig tied the game at 5-all for Tampa Bay with 10:57
remaining when Tim Taylor fed him a pass from behind the net that
he slid past Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.

Dan LaCouture and Afanasenkov traded goals prior to Craig's
goal. LaCouture scored a short-handed goal on a 2-on-1 breakout
with Patrice Bergeron.

"Tampa Bay turned it up," LaCouture said. "There were some
bizarre plays, but there is still a lot of hockey left."

Brad Boyes had three assists for the Bruins, who gave up leads
of 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4. The Bruins also committed nine minor penalties
including six in the third period.

"I'm not sure how to assess this game, but we missed an
opportunity" Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I didn't
understand the nature of some of the penalties.

Grahame made 21 saves and gave up 14 goals in three games
against his former team this season.

Midway through the second period, Prospal and Afanasenkov scored
46 seconds apart to tie the score at 3.

But Glen Murray regained the lead for the Bruins when his shot
from the corner deflected off the stick of Richards past Grahame
with 2:33 remaining in the second.

After Ruslan Fedotenko put Tampa Bay ahead 1-0, Bergeron with
two and Tom Fitzgerald combined to score three straight goals in a
span of 7:19 to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead at the 12:36 mark of the
first period.

Tampa Bay disputed the second Boston goal after Lightning
defenseman Cory Sarich pushed Bergeron who toppled onto Grahame.
This allowed Brian Leetch's slap shot to redirect off Bergeron and
sneak under the fallen Grahame.

Brad Stuart had two assists for Boston and Fitzgerald scored his
first goal since Oct 13.

Game notes
Thomas was pulled with 6:12 remaining in the third. ...
Tampa Bay is 40-4-4 since the 2003-04 season when Richards scores a
goal. ...Sergei Samsonov missed his second straight game for
Boston. ... Boston is 9-2-2 against the Southeast Division while
Tampa Bay is 3-10-1 against the Northeast Division.