1. Archive

Lightning ties Blackhawks

You just knew it was going to be one of those nights.

The first fight occurred just 2:15 into the game, and the officials almost ran out of room on the scoresheet listing all the penalties _ 29 in all for 92 minutes.

And the Tampa Bay Lightning also lost a leader and a left wing at the same time, when Basil McRae was carried off the ice on a stretcher in the second period and taken to the Illinois Masonic Hospital with a broken left leg.

But the Lightning got a goal from center Brian Bradley with 4:13 left in regulation to tie the Chicago Blackhawks 4-4 before a capacity crowd of 18,472 at Chicago Stadium.

"We wanted to try to win if for Basil, but a tie in this building is just like a win anywhere else," Lightning defenseman Joe Reekie said.

"I think we have to learn that if we don't go out and match their intensity and work ethic, they are going to make us look bad every time," Chicago right wing Jocelyn Lemieux said.

Chicago, playing in its home opener, was out to avenge a 7-3 loss to Tampa Bay in both teams' season opener Wednesday at Expo Hall.

The Stanley Cup finalist Blackhawks, who shut out St. Louis 3-0 on the road Saturday night, and the Lightning are 1-1-1.

"They called it a fluke once," said Lightning left wing Chris Kontos. "Can they call it a fluke twice?"

Chicago scored three of its four goals on power plays _ two by Steve Larmer and one by Jeremy Roenick. Defenseman Igor Kravchuk also scored with the teams even-handed.

The Lightning got two goals by Kontos and one each by Bradley and Mikael Andersson.

"I thought we had to check No. 16 (St. Louis' Brett Hull) last night," Chicago coach Darryl Sutter said Sunday. "I guess we have to check No. 16 tonight."

Kontos, who had four goals against Chicago in the team's first meeting, leads the NHL with six. The left wing, who has bounced between the minors and NHL for the past 10 years, has not scored more than eight goals in a season.

The other star of the night for the Lightning was goaltender Pat Jablonski, who made 40 saves. Tampa Bay was outshot 44-31.

"It seemed like the whole game we were killing penalties," Jablonski said. "But the guys kept fighting."

Bradley tied the game at 4 when he beat Chicago goalie Ed Belfour with a quick wrist shot from the slot for his first goal of the season.

"I got a perfect pass from John Tucker from behind the net, and I just snapped it up in the corner," Bradley said.

The tone of the game was set just 2:15 into the game when Tampa Bay's Rob DiMaio and Chicago's Dirk Graham came to blows. DiMaio left the ice with blood dripping from his left eye. He returned to assist on Andersson's goal but has a slight concussion.

McRae was injured in a fight with Stu Grimson 4:52 into the second period.

"He said it felt like somebody shot him," Lightning general manager Phil Esposito said. "It just snapped."

McRae, who missed the last 29 games and all of the playoffs last season with a foot injury, had worked hard over the summer to get healthy again. McRae also has an 18-inch rod in his thigh from an injury when he lost his footing and slid into the boards.

Roenick scored 1:02 into the third period to tie it at 4, when he fired a slap shot from the left point that went through Jablonski's legs on the power play. Jablonski was screened on the play.

Kontos had tied the game at 3 just 40 seconds after Kravchuk had given the Blackhawks the lead with a goal with 5:03 left in the second period.

Kontos intercepted an errant pass by Larmer in the slot and beat Belfour with a 15-foot shot to the stick side.

Kontos also tied the game at 2, when defenseman Doug Crossman stole the puck in the neutral zone and fed him a perfect pass. Kontos flicked a wrist shot form the hash mark that Belfour couldn't handle.

Twenty-nine penalty minutes were called on the Lightning in the first period, including a 10-minute misconduct on Mike Hartman for slapping a puck out of the Lightning zone after a whistle was blown on a penalty. (Hartman was also called for charging.)

At that point, the Blackhawks led 1-0 on Larmer's power-play score at 7:49 of the first period. Reekie, Ken Hodge and Kontos had killed off 1:21 of Chicago's 1:31 two-man advantage.

Roenick shot from in front, the rebound bounced off Jablonski and high into the air. Reekie tried to swat the puck to safety, but it bounced off the ice and Larmer swatted it for his first goal of the night and the season.

It was the first power-play goal the Lightning allowed in 14 attempts this season.

Andersson stole the puck and scored, but the goal was disallowed with Andersson called for holding and Kravchuk called for hooking.

Larmer scored again on the power play. Christian Ruuttu won a faceoff that went to Brian Noonan. He passed it ahead to Larmer, who got around Roman Hamrlik for a breakaway. Larmer's slap shot from the middle of the right circle clanged off the left post and into the goal to give Chicago a 2-0 lead at 11:09.

The Lightning got on the scoreboard with 2:48 left in the first period, scoring on only its fourth shot on goal of the period. DiMaio, who minutes earlier had returned from the trainer's room, got the puck from behind the net and passed ahead to Andersson. Belfour went down and Andersson lifted the puck into the top right corner.