Lecavalier nets 51st goal, leads Lightning over Caps

Associated Press • Apr 2, 2007 at 12:48 PM

TAMPA, Fla. - Vincent Lecavalier scored his 51st goal and had two assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Washington Capitals 5-2 on Saturday night.

Martin St. Louis added a short-handed goal and an assist. The Lightning remained three points behind Southeast Division-leading Atlanta. Tampa Bay also stayed in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the New York Rangers.

Tampa Bay had other goals from Ryan Craig, Dan Boyle and Jason Ward, who scored into an empty net with 1.7 seconds left.

Matt Pettinger and Matt Bradley scored for the Capitals, who have lost six in a row. Washington has dropped nine straight and 22 of 24 on the road.

PHILADELPHIA - Jaromir Jagr had two goals and an assist, and New York chased goalie Martin Biron at 7:15 of the second period and beat Philadelphia.

Thomas Pock, Martin Straka and Petr Prucha, each had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Callahan also scored for the Rangers, who won for the sixth time in seven games and held onto seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Ben Eager had two goals, and Braydon Coburn and Ryan Potulny added one each for the Flyers, who have dropped two straight and six of seven. Nathan Guenin had two assists for his first NHL points.

Biron, 5-7-1 since being acquired from Buffalo on Feb. 27, was replaced by Antero Niittymaki at 7:15 of the second period. He stopped only 17 of 22 shots. Henrik Lundqvist had 33 saves for the Rangers.

TORONTO - Tomas Kaberle scored his second goal of the game at 3:55 of overtime and Toronto helped its playoff chances by beating Pittsburgh.

Ryan Whitney tied it for the Penguins with four seconds left in regulation after Pittsburgh pulled goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for an extra skater.

Overtime was delayed for at least 10 minutes after a fan collapsed in the stands.

The Maple Leafs stayed in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, one point and one place below Montreal and the playoff cutoff.

The Penguins moved one point ahead of idle New Jersey for first place in the Atlantic Division.

MONTREAL - Saku Koivu scored his 20th goal early in the third period, and Michael Ryder got his team-leading 27th in the first in Montreal's victory over Buffalo.

Radek Bonk and Maxim Lapierre scored in the second period and Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots in his seventh straight start, improving to 6-1 over that stretch.

Montreal has won eight of 10. Buffalo, which has four games left, remained atop the overall standings with 107 points.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Mike Comrie scored twice, and Christoph Schubert added a goal and assist as Ottawa swept the season series from the Islanders.

Dean McAmmond and Dany Heatley also scored for Ottawa, and Martin Gerber stopped 21 shots to win his 15th game this season.

The Islanders have only four games left to make up a four-point gap and get into the playoffs. Alexei Yashin had a pair of assists for New York, winless in four games (0-3-1).

BOSTON - Keith Tkachuk scored the winner, Kari Lehtonen saved 25 shots, and Atlanta moved a step closer to clinching its first playoff berth.

Atlanta squandered a 2-0 lead, but Tkachuk bailed them out when he poked a rebound past Boston goalie Joey MacDonald with 18.6 seconds remaining in the third.

The Thrashers, who swept the four-game series with Boston, can clinch a playoff berth with a win in any of their last three games.

Marco Sturm and Petr Kalus scored for Boston, which has lost seven of eight.

DENVER - Colorado kept its thin playoff hopes alive, beating Minnesota behind Peter Budaj's record-tying 10th win in March. The Avalanche also tied a team record with 11 wins in a month, first accomplished in January 2004.

Budaj went 10-0-2 in March, tying the franchise record for wins in any month set by Daniel Bouchard with the Quebec Nordiques in February 1981 and breaking the March mark of nine set by Jocelyn Thibault in 1995 and tied by Patrick Roy in 2000 and ‘03.

Minnesota lost its third straight.

NASHVILLE - Stu Barnes and Mike Modano each had a goal and an assist, and Dallas beat Nashville.

The Predators came in needing a victory to pass Detroit and move back atop the Central Division and Western Conference standings while tying Buffalo for the NHL lead.

But there was more to this game than that. This marked the first time these teams had met since March 17 when Predators forward Jordin Tootoo decked Stephane Robidas, knocking him out with an unexpected gloved punch. That drew a five-game suspension for Tootoo, a ban that ended Saturday, and Robidas has missed seven games since. Jeff Halpern and Jussi Jokinen each had goals within the first five minutes for Dallas, which improved to 10-1-1 over its past 12 games.

Greg Zanon and Alexander Radulov scored a goal apiece for Nashville, which still trails Detroit by a point with three to play.

ST. LOUIS - Andy McDonald swatted in a backhander 25 seconds into overtime for his second goal of the game, helping Anaheim spoil St. Louis' home finale.

Scott Niedermayer had a goal and assisted on the winner for the Pacific Division leaders, who are in a race for the best overall record in the NHL with 106 points.

David Backes and Lee Stempniak scored for the Blues, who finished 18-20-3 at home in a rebuilding season after finishing last overall in 2005-06. The Blues finish with four games on the road.

McDonald has 26 goals for third-best on the team, but had been scoreless in his previous six games. The Ducks scored on their first two power plays, giving them five straight goals with the man advantage, before coming up empty late in the second period.

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