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Four-goal flurry helps Lightning top Penguins

Saturday, January 31, 2004

The Penguins have now lost a club-record eight straight home games.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- There was nothing wrong with the Tampa Bay Lightning's power play that playing the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins couldn't fix.
Pavel Kubina scored two power-play goals 54 seconds apart, Cory Stillman added two goals during Tampa Bay's four-goal third period, and the Lightning ran the Penguins' home losing streak to a club-record eight games by winning 6-2 Tuesday night.
The game was the NHL's first in more than two seasons with multiple penalty shots -- both unsuccessful.
Goal rundown
Penguins rookie Marc-Andre Fleury smothered Dan Boyle's shot at 15:44 of the second and Brian Holzinger shot high and wide off the glass at 12:00 of the third after a Lightning player threw a stick as he skated down the slot.
The Lightning began the night with the NHL's 26th-ranked power play, only to go 3-for-6 with the man advantage. Martin St. Louis also scored shorthanded into an empty net in the third.
"We thought Fleury was that good -- he played very well right through the game -- but our power play scored a couple of timely goals," coach John Tortorella said. "We were fortunate to get a couple of five-on-threes and we got it done."
Despite opening a 1-0 lead -- their first at home since they beat Chicago 1-0 on Dec. 29 -- the Penguins have been outscored 40-8 during the longest single-season home ice losing streak in their 37-year history. They have lost seven straight overall.
Boyle had a goal and two assists, Fredrik Modin added a goal and an assist, and Brad Richards had three assists as the Lightning finished off a 3-0-0-1 road trip that started in western Canada. They are 9-2-0-2 in their last 13.
Road reward
"It was an unbelievable road trip with a lot of travel and we got seven of eight points," Kubina said. "It was a very tough road trip, but we've been playing great the last couple of weeks."
Kubina scored 31 seconds into the second on a slap shot off the post from the right point with the Lightning on a five-on-three advantage created by penalties on Drake Berehowsky and Rico Fata 10 seconds apart. Kubina made it 2-1 at 1:25 with the Lightning still on the power play.
Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk was visibly unhappy with Fata's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for barking at referee Paul Devorski and didn't play Fata the rest of the game.
"It's the little things, you just can't have that," Olczyk said. "Devo told him to cool it and he didn't; we were shorthanded as it was. That cost us two goals and you just can't have that."
The Lightning had a chance to make it 3-1, but Fleury easily stopped Boyle's penalty shot by sprawling across the goal line. Fleury has stopped both penalty shots he faced; he also turned aside the Kings' Esa Pinnes in his NHL debut Oct. 10.
"I was planning on shooting right from the beginning, but he came out so far, I had nothing to look at so I had to fake him one way or another," said Boyle, 0-for-2 on career penalty shots. "I really had him beat, I just ran out of time and room."
Fleury has allowed four or more goals in each of his last six games, but hardly had a chance on three of the Lightning's goals and was off the ice for a fourth. Still, he lost his 11th decision in his last 12 and is 4-14-2 in his first season.
"It's pretty tough," Fleury said. "Obviously, everybody wants to win."
Perhaps relieved that Boyle didn't score after he hauled him down, the Penguins' Josef Melichar scored his first NHL goal later in the second on a knuckleball-like shot that tied it at 2.