DETROIT (AP) _ The Tampa Bay Lightning clinched a division title and the
Detroit Red Wings gained a player back from injury, but might have lost
Fredrik Modin's goal with 7:39 left in regulation lifted Tampa Bay to a 1-1
tie with Detroit on Monday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the NHL.
The Lightning, the Eastern Conference leaders, got their second consecutive
Southeast Division title, with 91 points.
``It's another stepping stone,'' said Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis. ``We've
got to keep going in the same direction.''
Detroit leads the West with 90 points. Tomas Holmstrom scored for Detroit.
Detroit defenseman Derian Hatcher, signed away from Dallas before this
season, returned to the lineup for the first time since tearing a knee ligament
in the third game of the season.
``I was trying to do some things, just not too much,'' said Hatcher, who
played 15 minutes, 43 seconds and was plus-1. ``But not too much. I didn't want
to hurt myself.''
He missed 64 games.
But the Red Wings might have lost another key player. Center Robert Lang,
acquired from Washington on Feb. 27, didn't play in the third period. Lang is
two points behind St. Louis for the NHL scoring lead.
``He's going for X-rays, an upper body injury,'' coach Dave Lewis said.
``We'll know more tomorrow.''
He said Lang was injured in the first period on a hit that Lewis didn't see.
Lang left the game with 2:20 remaining in the second period.
Detroit recently lost centers Kris Draper (shoulder) and Pavel Datsyuk
(ankle). The team has been hampered by injuries all season. Ten regulars were
out with injuries at one point in November.
Both Detroit's Manny Legace and Nikolai Khabibulin of Tampa Bay made several
outstanding saves. Legace finished with 37 saves, and Khabibulin stopped 28
Legace made the two biggest saves of the game back-to-back.
They came about eight minutes into the third period on a three-on-one rush.
He dived across the net to make a stop on St. Louis' one-timer from the slot,
which came off a pass from Vincent Lecavalier.
The rebound went directly to Ruslan Fedotenko at the bottom of the right
circle. He also drilled a one-timer at the net, but Legace dived out again and
caught it in his glove.
``He was tremendous,'' Modin said. ``He made some really nice saves at key
times of the game.''
Khabibulin made a nice glove save on Nicklas Lidstrom from the slot with
14.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
``Hobby made a tough stop coming down, on Lidstrom,'' Modin said.
Holmstrom gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with 4:41 remaining in the second period
when he split the defense pairing of Brad Lukowich and Dan Boyle and beat
Khabibulin high on the glove side as he was being pulled down by both
Modin swatted in a loose puck from the crease to tie it.