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Lightning triumphs 2-1

The Tampa Bay Lightning, getting a big game from former Blues goaltender Pat Jablonski, scored its first road win of the season by beating the St. Louis Blues 2-1.

Jablonski was outstanding, especially late in the third period when he made a sliding pad stop on Brett Hull on a breakaway with 1:01 remaining.

"I got there before the puck did, thank God," said Jablonski, who made 35 saves.

Lightning center Rob DiMaio, who suffered a slight concussion in a fight with Chicago's Stu Grimson on Sunday night, scored in the second period, and Brian Bradley added an empty-net goal with 47 seconds left to lead Tampa Bay to victory before 13,786 at St. Louis Arena.

The Lightning, which survived a St. Louis goal in the final seconds, is now 2-1-1. St. Louis fell to 1-3.

Just seconds after Jablonski stymied Hull, the Lightning struck.

After the Blues had pulled goaltender Curtis Joseph for an extra attacker, Rob Zamuner took control of an errant St. Louis pass and broke in on goal. He then passed unselfishly to Bradley, who tapped it in for a 2-0 Lightning lead.

But the Blues weren't done.

Defenseman Jeff Brown unleashed a slap shot from the point to beat Jablonski and spoil his shutout with 17 seconds left.

Tampa Bay was able to control the puck in the final seconds to seal the win.

The Blues had a goal disallowed in the third period after Philippe Bozon apparently had put the puck past Jablonski. Jablonski made the initial save and then was pushed onto the ground. With a lot of bodies clogging the front of the net, referee Ron Hoggarth could not determine whether the puck had crossed the goal line.

After a review of the TV replay, the call was no goal.

The Lightning scored the first goal of the game 1:51 into the second period off a nice effort by John Tucker.

Tucker had the puck on the right wing and was checked into the boards by St. Louis defenseman Rick Zombo. Tucker bounced back up and fed the puck to Zamuner.

Zamuner then made a short pass to DiMaio, who beat Joseph high to the left corner of the net for his first goal of the season, drawing boos from the St. Louis crowd.

Zamuner almost made it 2-0 later in the period when he fired a slap shot from the blue line that brushed the leg of a St. Louis defenseman and hit the left post.

The Blues, who have not scored in seven periods at home, could not muster a goal in the first two periods against Jablonski.

Jablonski, coming off a 40-save game against Chicago in a 4-4 tie Sunday night, frustrated his former teammates.

He stopped 19 shots fired at him by the Blues in the first two periods, including a quick wrist shot by Hull, who was alone in front.

Jablonski was drafted by the Blues in the seventh round (138th overall) in the 1985 entry draft. He backed up Joseph last season, appearing in 10 games with a 3-6 record and 4.87 goals-against average.

"I don't know much of what it's like playing (at St. Louis Arena) because most of my games were on the road," Jablonski said before the game.

The Lightning acquired Jablonski, 25, from the Blues for future considerations. In that deal, the Lightning also acquired Rob Robinson, Steve Tuttle and Darin Kimble (who Tampa later traded to Boston for Ken Hodge).

The crowd tried to cheer on St. Louis when the team got its first power-play opportunity of the night at 11:01 of the second period. But the cheers didn't do much good. The Lightning, which had killed off 19 of 22 power plays in the first three games, limited the Blues to just one shot. That also drew the crowd's wrath.

It looked more like a game of hot potato than hockey in the scoreless first period.

Numerous scoring chances by both teams were muffed when a player couldn't control the puck off a pass.

Hull had the best opportunities to get the Blues on the scoreboard. Early in the period, his slap shot clanged off the outside of the left post. He also had a shot from point-blank range in the slot, but it bounced off Jablonski's shoulder. As the horn sounded to end the period, Hull snapped a wrist shot from the left circle that was kick-saved by Jablonski.

The Lightning goalie also stopped Nelson Emerson, who was all alone in front from 10 feet.

It was also the first period in four regular-season games that a penalty was not called on the Lightning.

Hoggarth kept his whistle quiet, even when Lightning right wing Mikael Andersson was dragged down in the St. Louis zone.

Tampa Bay, which has been outshot 105-75 in its first three games, was outshot 10-5 in the first period.

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