Carolina at Tampa Bay

Lecavalier stays red-hot for Lightning with three more goals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Vincent Lecavalier turned a slow start into a dominating performance.

Lecavalier had three goals and two assists to set a team record with his sixth consecutive multipoint game, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Carolina Hurricanes 6-1 on Wednesday.

Lecavalier scored twice and also assisted on goals by Paul Ranger and Martin St. Louis during a five-goal second period that put the Lightning ahead 5-0. The center, who has five goals and 11 points over his past six games, completed the hat trick with a short-handed breakaway goal with 5:09 remaining in the third.

"I couldn't find him in the first period," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "It's unbelievable how he played in the second period."

Johan Holmqvist made 28 saves for the Lightning, who have won four in a row after a six-game skid. Tampa Bay also got a goal from Vinny Prospal.

Jeff Hamilton scored for Carolina, which has lost just twice -- both to Tampa Bay -- in its last six games. Hurricanes goalie John Grahame, a former Tampa Bay starter, allowed the five second-period goals on 13 shots.

"Just kind of bad luck for Johnny," Lecavalier said. "It's one of those games where you can play great and not produce at all, or you can play mediocre in the first, then score the first goal and it starts rolling. Tonight was that."

Carolina left wing Erik Cole missed the game with a neck injury and is listed as day to day. Cole, taken off the ice on a stretcher after crashing headfirst into Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun during Monday's game at Florida, will be re-evaluated when the team returns home Thursday.

Ranger opened the scoring at 1:27 of the second off a pass from Lecavalier. After Lecavalier made it 2-0 at 4:12, he set up St. Louis' goal at 12:32.

Lecavalier made it 4-0 when scored on a backhander at 14:24. Prospal closed out Tampa Bay's five-goal second with 1:42 left in the period.

"You can't give a guy like that opportunities like that all night," Carolina defenseman Mike Commodore said. "He's going to score. We can't let Lecavalier have a hat trick."

Holmqvist made in-close saves on Rod Brind'Amour and Corey Stillman during a power play late in the second. He lost his shutout bid when Hamilton scored a power-play goal with 12:38 left to play.

"Their best players were their best players again tonight, and our best players have got to be better," Hurricanes center Eric Staal said. "That's kind of what it boils down to."

Notes

  • Lecavalier has five career three-goal games. He was plus-5 for the game.
  • Holmqvist has gone 36 games since his only career shutout, coming last Feb. 1 against the Hurricanes.
  • Carolina LW Ryan Whitney had his 10-game point streak end. He had seven goals and 17 points over the stretch.
  • St. Louis has a six-game point streak.
  • Brad Richards (March 2006) and St. Louis (November 2006) had shared the Lightning consecutive multipoint games record with five.
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Vincent Lecavalier scores three goals in a game for the fifth time in his career. (AP)
Vincent Lecavalier scores three goals in a game for the fifth time in his career. (AP)

Scoreboard
Carolina (11-4-3)0011
Tampa Bay  (8-8-1) «0516
Three Stars
V. Lecavalier
TB


Goals: 3
Assist(s): 2
J. Holmqvist
TB


Saves: 28
Save Pct.: .966
P. Ranger
TB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
01:27Paul Ranger (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis
04:12Vincent Lecavalier (10), Slap Shot, Unassisted.
12:32Martin St. Louis (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Vincent Lecavalier, Michel Ouellet
14:24Vincent Lecavalier (11), Slap Shot. Assist: Mike Lundin
19:18Vaclav Prospal (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Paul Ranger
3RD PERIOD
07:22Power Play - Jeff Hamilton (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Chad LaRose, John Grahame
14:51Short - Vincent Lecavalier (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Martin St. Louis, Mike Lundin
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
11:44LaRose, 2 min, Holding
2ND PERIOD
06:45Karlsson, 2 min, Slashing
08:31Hamilton, 2 min, Hooking
09:33Kuba, 2 min, Tripping
10:31Staal, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
12:57Gratton, 2 min, Slashing
13:15Richards, 5 min, Fighting
13:15Williams, 5 min, Fighting
13:15Williams, 2 min, Roughing
15:27O'Brien, 2 min, Tripping
16:59Lundin, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
3RD PERIOD
05:23O'Brien, 2 min, Interference
13:28Ranger, 2 min, Interference
17:22Janik, 5 min, Fighting
17:22Adams, 5 min, Fighting
Shots On Goal
 123T
Carolina614929
Tampa Bay613928
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
John Grahame60:00226
Johan Holmqvist60:00281
Game Information
Attendance - 17444
Referees - Dan O'Halloran, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Derek Amell, Jean Morin
 
Other Games
Chi 2 Final
Colu 4
NYR 4 Final
NJ 2
Edm 1 Final
Van 0
SJ 4 Final
Dal 3