PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lighting already were assured of one of the
best road trips in their brief history. This one made it even better.
Cory Stillman and Brad Richards scored less than a minute apart early in the
first period and the Lightning ran their franchise-best road winning streak to
four, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Lightning backup goalie John Grahame allowed only one goal for the fourth
straight game -- all during the road winning streak -- while facing only 13
shots. Grahame is 6-1-1 on the road this season and 6-1-1 in his career against
While Grahame regularly beats the Penguins, the Lightning don't -- it was
their first victory in Mellon Arena since Nov. 6, 1999, going 0-5-1-1 in their
last seven games there.
"We've been moving around a bit, but I think tonight's game made the
difference on the road trip," Stillman said. "We either go home 4-1 or 3-2
and, obviously, we're trying to get points, so it was an important win."
Since the Lightning joined the NHL for the 1992-93 season, they had never
won more than three straight road games. Their current streak began after a 5-2
loss in Ottawa on Jan. 6 with Nikolai Khabibulin in goal, but he hasn't played
since as Grahame has allowed only four goals in beating the Canadiens, Devils,
Rangers and Penguins.
"When you're on that road that long, everyone wants to get home, but you
want to end on a positive note," Grahame said. "That was the big thing, to
try to stay focused and get through this last one. Four and one? There's a big
difference from 3-2 and, just like he (Stillman) said, that's a very successful
The Penguins, coming off a 2-1 victory Monday night in Philadelphia, weren't
embarrassed like they were in losing their previous four home games to the
Rangers, Maple Leafs, Islanders and Canadiens by a combined 23-2. But they
still dropped their fifth in a row at home and are an NHL-worst 7-12-3 on home
Tampa Bay played without center Vincent Lecavalier, suspended one game for
kicking the Rangers' Darius Kasparaitis on Sunday. Lecavalier forfeited
$14,166.67 in pay.
Penguins goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin, outstanding against the Flyers the
previous night, tightened up considerably after giving up the two early goals,
but still took the loss despite making 28 saves. Pittsburgh was outshot 31-13.
"There were opportunities to shoot the puck, but they are a pretty sturdy
team defensively," Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk said. "We are not exactly an
offensive juggernaut. It obviously wasn't good enough, but it wasn't from a
lack of trying or us sitting back. They are a really good team and they kept
the puck in our end."
Just five seconds after Pittsburgh's Kelly Buchberger went off for slashing,
Stillman powered a slap shot past Aubin at 3:32 of the first for his 14th goal
-- ending Tampa Bay's 0-for-17 streak on the power play over four games.
Richards made it 2-0 only 46 seconds later with an odd-angle shot from along
the goal line that deflected into the net. Stillman also had a hand in that
goal, carrying the puck behind the net and setting up Richards for his seventh
"I was just throwing it on net," Richards said. "I was just trying to get
it across the crease and it hit a stick and went in."
Pittsburgh rookie Ryan Malone cut it to 2-1 late in the first with the
Penguins' third power-play goal in two games, but Tampa Bay's Dave Andreychuk
made certain there would be no Penguins comeback by scoring with 2:53
remaining. Aubin turned aside Andreychuk's backhander from just above the
crease, but Andreychuk put in his own rebound for his eighth goal.
"We came back out in the third and played like we did in the first and
didn't give them anything," Richards said.