TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ The Tampa Bay Lightning capitalized on a lucky bounce.
Cory Stillman scored the go-ahead goal with 3:29 left in the third period
and the Southeast Division-leading Lightning beat the Washington Capitals 4-2
Brad Richards' shot during a two-on-one hit the post, and then deflected off
Stillman's shoulder into the net.
``It wasn't pretty that's for sure,'' Stillman said. ``I was fortunate to
take it off the shoulder. It was the difference in a game we needed.''
Martin St. Louis added an empty-net goal on a power play with 10.3 seconds
left to take over the NHL scoring lead with 75 points.
Washington, which trailed by two early on, tied it on Alexander Semin's
bad-angle goal from the bottom of the left circle at 8:44 of the third.
Fredrik Modin had two first-period goals for the Lightning, who trail
Philadelphia and Ottawa by two points for the top record in the Eastern
Conference. The Lightning are 14-1-1-4 the past 20 games.
``We got off to a good start,'' Modin said. ``We let then come back into the
game, but we managed to come out on top.''
Capitals defenseman Sergei Gonchar, one of several Washington players
mentioned in trade rumors, missed his second straight game with what the
Capitals said was the flu. Gonchar did take part in the pregame skate
approximately 30 minutes before the game.
``I would say he's going to play the next game,'' Washington coach Glen
Hanlon said. ``He's pretty close.''
The Capitals next play Tuesday at home against Florida.
Dainius Zubrus had the other Washington goal. The Capitals are last in the
Southeast, 32 points behind Tampa Bay.
``In a game like that, you definitely want to get at least a point out of
it,'' Zubrus said. ``It was a tough ending.''
The Capitals, who beat Florida 4-1 Friday just hours after trading leading
scorer Robert Lang to Detroit, had five of the first six shots.
Tampa Bay's Nikolai Khabibulin kept it scoreless with several strong saves,
including an in-close chance by Joel Kwiatkowski. He finished with 21 saves.
Modin made it 1-0 at 9:14 of the first period, five seconds after a
Lightning power play ended. He skated in from the right-wing boards and scored
on a wrist shot.
Tampa Bay went up 2-0 on Modin's second goal of the game with 4:58 left in
Zubrus scored his first goal in 16 games 11:16 into the second. He made a
spin move in the left circle and beat Khabibulin with a backhander.
Washington's Sebastien Charpentier turned aside 19 shots. Capitals No. 1
goalie Olaf Kolzig served as the backup.
``Hopefully I get all my bad bounces in that game and I'm clear for the rest
of the year,'' Charpentier said.