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Lightning 3, Islanders 2, OT @NHLdotcom

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Martin St. Louis can always score against the New York Islanders, even when he struggles against everyone else.

Sure, the NHL's reigning MVP and scoring champion had gone eight games without a goal, but St. Louis and the Tampa Bay Lightning had a matchup against New York - a team they own lately.

St. Louis scored the tying goal with 1:12 left in regulation and then set up Vincent Lecavalier's breakaway winner in overtime that gave the defending Stanley Cup champions a 3-2 victory Monday night.

With Sean Burke pulled for an extra attacker, St. Louis got his stick on Dan Boyle's shot from the right point and knocked the puck past goalie Rick DiPietro, who didn't see it.

That tied the game at 2 and only set up more drama in overtime.

Usually, St. Louis scores winning goals against New York. He had done it in four straight matchups, including an overtime tally in Game 5 that ended the 2004 opening-round playoff series - Tampa Bay's first step toward the Stanley Cup title.

"I felt we had control of the game," St. Louis said. "We just had to keep pushing, and it paid off."

In all three games against the Islanders this season, he has scored the tying or winning goal in the closing minutes.

New York nearly won it as the clock ticked down in the final minute of overtime but Mark Parrish's rebound shot was blocked in front by Darryl Sydor. Pavel Kubina moved the puck out to St. Louis, who found Lecavalier streaking alone at center ice.

He came in on DiPietro, deked him onto his back and beat him with a shot past his glove with 54.5 seconds showing on the clock.

"I think he thought I was going on my backhand but I stayed with my forehand," Lecavalier said.

Lecavalier missed Saturday's home victory over Washington because of an upper body injury but came back in time to foil the Islanders. He said he felt OK and was pleased his legs weren't too tired following a five-day layoff.

"We got the win and that's the most important thing," Lecavalier said. "It wasn't our best game."

Tampa Bay improved to 8-1-1 in its last 10 and beat New York by one goal for the third time this season. The Lightning have won six straight against the Islanders, dating to the 2004 playoffs.

Mike York and Jason Blake scored for the Islanders.

Fredrik Modin put the Lightning in front 1-0 just 1:22 in and Burke finished with 28 saves.

Blake tied it with 5:46 left in the second period with his 20th goal. York put the Islanders in front 9:19 into the third with his 11th. He came in with just one goal in 20 games.

New York lost for the second time in three games following a season-best, three-game winning streak.

"We certainly played well enough to win, but we have to learn how to finish," York said. "If we were the ones down and tied it late, it would be a good point, but this was disappointing."

After the Islanders put early pressure on Burke, Tampa Bay turned the tide.

Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger charged into the slot from the left point to get to the puck. He wound up for a big drive but instead found Modin alone at the left post for an easy redirect past DiPietro.

Tampa Bay had three power-play chances in the opening period against the NHL's worst home penalty killers but couldn't generate much offense. The Lightning held only an 8-6 edge in shots through 20 minutes.

They even started the second period with a man up, but the Islanders got the better of the scoring chances then, too. Only Burke, who has been in a steady goalie rotation with John Grahame, kept the Lightning in it when New York held a 14-6 shots advantage.

The Islanders failed to take advantage of Ruslan Fedotenko's double minor for high-sticking against former Lightning defenseman Brad Lukowich but New York tied it before the period ended.

Blake whiffed on a shot, and the puck slid to the side of the net to Miroslav Satan. He moved it to York, who was just inside the right circle, for a quick shot that deflected off Blake and in.

New York took the lead when Satan made a long lead pass to Brent Sopel, who found York in the left circle.

"Except for one breakdown, we played real well," Satan said.

Notes: The Islanders activated G Garth Snow from the injured list after he missed 14 games because of sprained ligaments in both knees. New York sent down G Wade Dubielewicz and C Jeremy Colliton to Bridgeport of the AHL and recalled C Wyatt Smith. ... Islanders D Alexei Zhitnik missed his third straight game due to a sprained ankle. ... Grahame and DiPietro make up two-thirds of the U.S. Olympic goalie staff.

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