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Tampa Bay Lightning holds off Dallas Stars 5-4

TAMPA — In the final, frantic 38 seconds of the Lightning's 5-4 victory over the Stars on Monday night, defenseman Mike Lundin blocked three shots, center Dominic Moore two.

In fact, so stifling was the Lightning's penalty kill that Dallas, with a six-on-four advantage after it pulled its goaltender, did not get off a shot in the final minute.

"A dicey situation," Moore said. "But we collapsed well in front of the net and did a good job keeping them to the outside."

That the game at the St. Pete Times Forum came down to that was astonishing as Tampa Bay (4-1-0), with captain Vinny Lecavalier out because of a knuckle injury, overwhelmed previously unbeaten Dallas with an effort Moore called "huge" for the team to regain its confidence after Saturday's dreadful shutout loss to the Panthers.

"We wanted to get back to our trademarks," Moore said. "I thought (Monday night) was one of our more complete efforts."

Consider these snapshots:

The Lightning outshot the Stars 44-19; 20-3 in the second period, including a stretch of 13 minutes, 11 seconds in which it had a 15-0 advantage and scored twice.

The team was 4-for-5 on the power play with goals by Steven Stamkos, who also had two assists, Steve Downie and two from Moore. Sean Bergenheim got his first goal of the season, too.

Defenseman Victor Hedman was strong with four shots, three blocks and two assists.

The so-called fourth line of center Nate Thompson, Adam Hall and Dana Tyrell held the Stars' No. 1 line, anchored by center and former Lightning Brad Richards, to four shots. And the team tied a season high with 19 blocks.

The score might have been more lopsided had Lightning goaltender Mike Smith not allowed at least two bad goals and Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen not been outstanding.

"They were an honest hard-working team," Lehtonen said.

Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher called it a "five-man picture.

"If I look at the video and I don't see five guys in the picture, I'm not happy. I think I'm going to have too many to look at, which is good."

Thompson's line set the tone on the game's first shift as its forecheck caused havoc in the Stars zone. But it was that second period that showed what the Lightning can do when it executes.

Players were light on their skates, precise with their passes and constantly had disruptive sticks on pucks. Still, after Moore scored his second goal 6:11 into the third period to make the score 5-2, things took a turn.

Brendan Morrow scored 13 seconds later to end a sequence that began with Smith losing track of the puck behind the net. James Neal scored with 59.5 seconds left to make it 5-4.

As if that wasn't nerve-wracking enough, referee Eric Furlatt called what seemed a phantom tripping penalty on Ryan Malone with 57 seconds left after what seemed a straightforward puck battle with Steve Ott.

That set up the six-on-four and the stage for Lundin and Moore, who blocked his two shots in the final 10 seconds.

"He was outstanding," Boucher said. "He's one of those guys who will do anything for the team."

A team that, as Hedman said, "wanted to bounce back."

Lightning 2 2 1 5
Stars 1 1 2 4

First Period1, Dallas, Petersen 1 (Robidas), 15:04 (sh). 2, Tampa Bay, Downie 2 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 16:21 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 5 (Hedman, Malone), 19:46 (pp). PenaltiesStamkos, TB (slashing), 3:50; Stamkos, TB (roughing), 8:13; Fistric, Dal (tripping), 14:41; Fistric, Dal (roughing), 17:48.

Second Period4, Dallas, Burish 1 (Ribeiro, Morrow), 6:04. 5, Tampa Bay, Bergenheim 1 (Stamkos, Purcell), 9:26. 6, Tampa Bay, Moore 3 (Kubina, Downie), 18:06 (pp). PenaltiesSmaby, TB (tripping), 11:04; Niskanen, Dal (cross-checking), 14:19; Robidas, Dal (high-sticking), 17:36.

Third Period7, Tampa Bay, Moore 4 (Purcell, Hedman), 6:11 (pp). 8, Dallas, Morrow 5, 6:24. 9, Dallas, Neal 3 (Richards, Ribeiro), 19:00. PenaltiesNeal, Dal (elbowing), 4:35; Moore, TB (slashing), 7:52; Malone, TB (tripping), 19:03. Shots on GoalDallas 7-3-9—19. Tampa Bay 15-20-9—44. Power-play opportunitiesDallas 0 of 5; Tampa Bay 4 of 5. GoaliesDallas, Lehtonen 4-1-0 (44 shots-39 saves). Tampa Bay, Smith 3-0-0 (19-15). A13,277 (19,758). T2:27. Referees—Eric Furlatt, Brad Meier. LinesmenBrian Mach, Steve Barton.

Tampa Bay Lightning holds off Dallas Stars 5-4 10/18/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 7:17am]
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