Sun, Mar 14, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Lightning triggers scoring frenzy on helpless Rangers


The Tampa Bay Lightning set a franchise record for points in a season Friday when they extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games with a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers.

NHL points leader Martin St. Louis scored two goals and assisted on a third for the Southeast Division champions, who increased their lead in the race for the Presidents' Trophy to three points over Western Conference leader Detroit.

"This is a time where we really need to stay on top of things," said Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella. "We're spending our days with our tape, going over the minute things."

Vincent Lecavalier had two goals and two assists, while the victory gave the Lightning 95 points -- two more they amassed last season when they won their first division title and made their first playoff appearance in seven years.

"They have lots of confidence right now," New York's Karel Rachunek said. "They move the puck perfectly and shoot from everywhere."

St. Louis' goals were his 33rd and 34th of the season, setting a career high for the All-Star winger. With 50 assists, he has 84 points.

Hurricanes 4, Thrashers 2

In Raliegh, North Carolina, Justin Williams scored a tie-breaking goal as Carolina rebounded from its last shaky performance to beat Atlanta.

The Hurricanes dominated play just two days after a painful 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay. In their first game without captain Ron Francis on Wednesday -- he was traded a day earlier to Toronto -- Carolina gave up goals on the Lightning's first two shots and couldn't connect on a number of scoring chances.

The Thrashers' winless streak stands at four games.

Blackhawks 4, Capitals 3

In Washington, Tuomo Ruuttu scored two goals, the winner coming on the power play with 6:22 left in regulation, as Chicago beat Washington.

Jason Strudwick and Bryan Berard also scored for Chicago, which won for the first time in seven games. Adam Munro made 27 saves for his first NHL win and became the fifth Chicago goaltender to win a game this season.

Jeff Halpern, Stephen Peat and Brian Willsie scored for Washington, which lost its third straight on the final night of its four-game homestand.

Avalanche 3, Coyotes 2

In Glendale, Arizona, Paul Kariya and Matthew Barnaby scored power-play goals as Colorado extended the Coyotes' winless streak to 11 games.

Andrei Nikolishin also scored for the Avalanche, who won for the fourth time in five games to move within a point of idle Detroit for the best record in the Western Conference.

Krystofer Kolanos scored for the first time in four months, and Mike Comrie added a short-handed goal for the Coyotes, 0-7-2-2 in their last 11 games.

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