Lightning Strike

Apr 12, 2004

2004 Playoffs

Nikolai Khabibulin made 28 saves and Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis scored early as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders 3-0 to take a two games to one lead in their first-round series.

"Nik was tremendous again," St. Louis said. "He was the Nos. 1-2-3 stars tonight. He was the difference. Our desperation was as high as I've seen it, and we need it every shift. Teams will not go far in the playoffs if they are goofing around."

St. Louis added an empty-netter with 10 seconds remaining for the Lightning, who re-gained home-ice advantage.

"We were probably gripping our sticks a little tight," Islanders captain Michael Peca said. "We knew full well that they were going to come out better than they have."

Devils Not Done
Patrik Elias scored twice and Scott Gomez had three assists and the New Jersey Devils surged back with a 4-2 victory over Philadelphia to cut the Flyers' lead in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals to two games to one.

"We're back in it now," goaltender Martin Brodeur. "Those guys were flying high, and hopefully we put a little doubt in their minds."

Rookie Paul Martin and Brian Gionta also scored and Martin Brodeur made 23 saves for the Devils. Jeremy Roenick and Tony Amonte scored for the Flyers.

Belfour Shines Again
Ed Belfour made 35 saves for his second straight shutout and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators 2-0 to take a two games to one lead in the series.

"We kind of weathered the storm early on, in big part thanks to Eddie," Nieuwendyk said. "He made some incredible saves for us, but that's sometimes what you get in playoff hockey where one team throws everything at you and get nothing for it, and you find away to hang in there and chip away and eventually we got the goals we needed."

Belfour has held Ottawa scoreless for 138:21. Joe Nieuwendyk and Mats Sundin scored for the Maple Leafs.

Stars Rally To Win In OT
Steve Ott scored 2:11 into overtime as the Dallas Stars bounced back from a two-goal deficit to a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

"It's a great feeling, but it's only one game," said Scott Young, who scored a power-play goal with two seconds left in the second period. "We couldn't afford to lose this game."

The Stars, who outshot Colorado 32-17, cut the Avs' lead in the Western Conference series to two games to one.

Sillinger Lifts Blues
Mike Sillinger scored his first career playoff hat trick and Dallas Drake scored and had an assist for the St. Louis Blues in a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

"My little boys told me they wanted me to score a hat trick, and my wife laughed," Sillinger said. "She goes, 'If he ever gets a hat trick, we'll fill the house with balloons.' We'll be filling the house with balloons when I get back and see them in Phoenix, and hopefully it won't be for a while."

The Sharks lead the first-round series two games to one. Game 4 is on Tuesday in St. Louis.

"It was kind of funny to read that the series was over," coach Ron Wilson said. "We won two home games and now they've come back. Now they'll have something to think about tonight and come better prepared tomorrow."

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