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Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Marty St. Louis keeps quiet about his stellar play

Marty St. Louis has an 11-game points streak (6 goals, 11 assists), the league’s longest active one entering Wednesday.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Marty St. Louis has an 11-game points streak (6 goals, 11 assists), the league’s longest active one entering Wednesday.

TAMPA — Marty St. Louis doesn't want to talk about it.

The points, the assists, the great plays that led to victories over the Devils and Capitals, it all is off limits, the Lightning right wing said.

"Just let it be," he said Wednesday. "Every time we write about it, something happens. The (penalty kill) is unbelievable, bam, two power-play goals. This guy is going well, bam, goalless in five games. So, just stay out of it."

That's hard to do, considering St. Louis, 34, is tearing it up.

His 11-game points streak, with six goals and 11 assists, entered Wednesday the longest active one in the league.

He was tied for sixth with 52 points (on pace for a career-best 95) and was third with 40 assists (on pace for a career-best 73), and his average 21:44 of ice time was second among right wings.

"Dog on a bone," is how assistant coach Adam Oates described St. Louis' play.

"An unbelievable player," center Jeff Halpern said. "Whoever plays with him that game is going to get their chances, and that's a credit to him. He makes everyone around him better."

As for St. Louis' reluctance to speak on his behalf, Halpern said he is not surprised:

"He's a big karma guy, so he's a modest and humble player."

But he also is prideful, and St. Louis admitted that being left off Canada's Olympic team has been difficult to process.

"Deep down it definitely motivates me," he said. "Not that I wasn't motivated before. But am I bitter? Yeah, I'm bitter. But there's no reason to pout. Go play and try to prove people wrong."

St. Louis has done more than that the past two games.

In Tuesday's 7-4 victory over Washington, his goal with 2:32 left in the second period was the winner and stopped the Capitals' momentum after they had scored three straight to tie the score.

In Sunday's finish of a 4-2 victory over the Devils, St. Louis hustled into the offensive zone to beat New Jersey defender Andy Greene to the puck. He centered to Stamkos, who scored 9:45 into the third period, 69 seconds after the Devils had closed to within 3-1.

"A huge play," Oates said. "He's a great player, and great players who stay on top of their game make great plays."

And do little things, such as being in the right place at the right time, playing with energy and playing smart.

Goals, or the lack of them, are St. Louis' one bugaboo. Though he has five in his past seven games, his 12 are on pace for 22, which would be his lowest total since 2001-02.

Oates said that had the Laval, Quebec, native buried some early season chances "he would be leading the league in scoring."

Instead, and more important, he is leading his team.

"Just say I'm getting bounces," St. Louis said. "Leave it at that."

SMITH UPDATE: Mike Smith is "progressing" from a neck strain sustained Tuesday when he was run over by Washington's Brooks Laich, the team said. If the goalie, who did not practice Wednesday, cannot go tonight against the Panthers at the St. Pete Times Forum, expect Dustin Tokarski to come up from AHL Norfolk. Smith said he was "not allowed" to talk about the injury.

FIGHT UPDATE: Washington's Matt Bradley, who fought Steve Downie in the third period, will not be disciplined by the league, the Washington Post reported.

It appeared Bradley left the bench to intervene on behalf of teammate Alex Ovechkin. But the league ruled that Bradley was on a line change.

Downie and Ovechkin had squared off to continue an earlier skirmish. Halpern called Ovechkin's hit that started the first fracas "dirty" because it appeared Ovechkin stuck out his knee.

Downie said Wednesday he had not seen a replay. Still, he said, "(Ovechkin) has done it a couple of times. He plays hard. He likes to finish his hits. I have nothing wrong with that."

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Marty St. Louis keeps quiet about his stellar play 01/13/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:43pm]
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