CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ Martin St. Louis turned in a dazzling offensive
display in the city where he began his NHL career.
The Tampa Bay Lightning forward had three goals and an assist as the
Lightning scored four times in the second period, cruising to a 6-2 victory
over the Calgary Flames.
St. Louis, who split his first two NHL seasons between the Flames and the
minors, has 22 goals this season.
``It's nice to do it in the city you used to play, obviously, but I've moved
on and I'm trying to help my own team win,'' St. Louis said. ``Tonight was one
of those nights where things were bouncing the right way.''
It was the second hat trick of the season for St. Louis and third of his
career. The four points matched a career high set earlier this season against
Brad Richards, Tim Taylor, and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for the
Lightning, and Vincent Lecavalier had three assists. With just one regulation
loss in 10 games, Tampa Bay has opened up a six point lead over Atlanta atop
the Southeast Division.
``It's so much easier to have success individually when the team's playing
so well,'' St. Louis said. ``Everybody's very confident right now and we're all
feeding off that.''
Dean McAmmond and Martin Gelinas scored for Calgary. The Flames fell back
into seventh place in the Western Conference, one point behind Nashville.
Calgary led 1-0 when St. Louis tied it during a power play with 41 seconds
left in the first period.
St. Louis fired a slap shot that seemed to fool goaltender Roman Turek, who
was beaten inside the post on his glove side.
Turek also looked shaky on the go-ahead goal by St. Louis at 6:09 of the
Lecavalier intercepted a Calgary pass inside the Flames blue line and slid a
pass to St. Louis at the side of the net. His pass attempt across the crease
was steered by Turek's stick into his own net.
``I think he'd like to have the first two back,'' Flames coach Darryl Sutter
said. ``The first, the power-play goal on the St. Louis shot is a bad goal,
he's got to have that. On the second goal, too, he was guessing. He was reading
pass and he misplayed it.''
After Gelinas briefly tied it for Calgary 2-2 at 9:34, Richards scored the
eventual game-winner two minutes later.
St. Louis set up Taylor's goal at 14:50 before he capped his three-goal game
at 18:20. He made it 5-2 off another setup from Lecavalier.
``They have a lot of skill, there's no doubt, but you can't give up
two-on-ohs, three-on-ones, two-on-ones and let them do what they want,'' Flames
center Craig Conroy said.
St. Louis has seven goals and five assists in six games.
``Turnovers are something every team thrives on, we have a pretty quick
counter team and we create a lot of our chances that way,'' St. Louis said.
After giving up four goals on 14 shots in that second period, Turek was
loudly jeered by the hom fans each time he made a save.
``There's three or four of our top guys, and they're very popular players,
that have to pick their games up,'' Sutter said. ``You look at tonight's game
and what their top four forwards did compared to the top forwards on our
Turek was making his fifth start in a row after missing three months due to
knee surgery. He made 23 saves.
John Grahame stopped 18 shots.