Lecavalier leads Lightning to rare home win over Stars

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TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Captain Vincent Lecavalier scored two

goals to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 victory over the

Dallas Stars on Monday.

Lecavalier added an assist to help Tampa Bay do something it has

not accomplished in some time - beat Dallas at home.

Dallas had not lost in Tampa since February 19, 1996 - winning

eight straight road contests over the Lightning in that span.

The Stars have outscored Tampa Bay by a 24-10 margin over that


The Stars looked like they were on their way to another win in

Tampa, holding a 2-1 lead in the third period. But rookie

Steven Stamkos netted the equalizer with 8:14 to play and

Lecavalier gave the Lightning the lead with a power-play tally

just over three minutes later.

Vaclav Prospal capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 49

seconds left.

Lecavalier opened the scoring just 93 seconds into the game with

a shorthanded goal. On a breakaway, Lecavalier skated in on

goaltender Marty Turco and beat him between the pads for his

20th goal of the season.

"I got pretty lucky," Lecavalier said. "I was alone from before

the blue line to their net. He left me a little bit of an

opening between his legs and I took advantage of it."

Lecavalier's former teammate, Brad Richards, evened the score 20

seconds later with a power-play goal from the slot.

"We let them hang around and obviously they've got firepower.

You let them hang around and eventually they're going to kill

you and that's what happened," Richards said. "We've got to

start backing up games or it's going to start being too late.

"I had fun out there until five minutes left in the third.

Obviously it was a bad ending. It was a fun time to come back,

but the bigger picture is that we really wanted to win the game,

not just because it's them. But we need points right now and we

threw them away again when we had a lead."

Loui Eriksson scored his career-best 22nd goal of the season in

the second period to give Dallas a 2-1 lead, but the Stars could

not make it hold up.

After Stamkos tied the game, Lecavalier took a pass from Cory

Murphy and one-timed a high blast from the right circle that

beat Turco and put the Lightning ahead for good.

"Murphy made a great play, a touch pass. It was a smart play,"

Lecavalier said. "He got it to me right away, if you wait a

second, it can be too late. He put in a perfect spot."

Mike Smith made 23 saves for Tampa Bay, which had won four of

its last six.

"This was one of the most mentally and emotionally draining

games I think I've played, other than the one when I was traded

here," Smith said. "It felt surreal out there. I was kind of

nervous to start the game. We go the job done and that's the

most important thing."

Turco made 16 saves for the Stars.


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