NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Ben Clymer watched Nashville close Tampa Bay's
three-goal lead to 3-2, and he committed a penalty that put the Predators back
on the power play late in the second period.
But Tampa Bay killed off the man advantage. Clymer jumped into the play by
scoring his second goal of the season nine seconds later as the Lightning beat
Nashville 5-2 on Thursday night.
``They were really strumming us and I thought they were going to tie it. For
us to kill it off was huge,'' he said. ``I just skated across the red line and
the puck came to me.''
Four other Tampa Bay players scored, Cory Stillman had three assists and
Martin St. Louis added two more as Tampa Bay built a 3-0 lead midway through
the second period before Nashville seized the momentum.
``The power play was awful. They score two on their power play, and then we
came back 3-2 and then we get scored on right away,'' Nashville's Andreas
Johansson said. ``That fourth goal, that's a killer.''
Nashville failed to score on all six of its man advantages, but Denis
Arkhipov kept the Predators in the game by scoring twice in the second period.
Martin Erat and Vladimir Orszagh added two assists each.
Tampa Bay hasn't allowed a power-play goal in five games, stopping the last
19 chances, and the Lightning improved to 15-10-3-1 on the road.
Lightning coach John Tortorella said killing off three first period
penalties set the stage.
``That first goal in a hockey game is a very important thing, and for us to
have to kill three of them off, I felt it was the most important part of the
game,'' he said.
The penalty killing allowed Pavel Kubina to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead by
poking a backhander past goalie Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun has given up three or more
goals in five of his last six games since being chosen to the All-Star team.
The goal came 2:01 after Dan Boyle scored nine seconds into Tampa Bay's
second power play.
But Nashville scrapped back into the game as Arkhipov connected after Erat
circled behind the net and fired a shot that was deflected by Orszagh. The puck
trickled to a stop just behind goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and Arkhipov swept it
into the open net.
He made it 3-2 after taking a pass from Orszagh just inside the blue line
and putting it through Khabibulin's legs.
Then came Clymer's goal with 37 seconds left in the period.
``A guy gets out of the penalty box and scores and it ends up being the
difference in the hockey game,'' Stillman said. ``It just shows the character
that's building in this team.''
Khabibulin buckled down in the final period, stopping all 12 Nashville
shots, and Tim Taylor added an empty-net goal with 2:09 left.
Tampa Bay's Brad Richards opened scoring on the power play in the first