The Tampa Bay Lightning solved its defensive problem Saturday by acquiring San Jose defenseman Peter Ahola for left wing Dave Capuano.
The Lightning was in jeopardy of having to leave one of its top defensemen (Joe Reekie, Shawn Chambers, Marc Bergevin and Bob Beers) unprotected in the expansion draft. Tampa Bay did not have another defenseman it could leave unprotected. The criteria was 70 NHL games over the past two seasons or 40 games this season. Ahola fits that bill.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Ahola, from Finland, started 1992-93 with Los Angeles, was traded to Pittsburgh Nov. 5 and was traded to San Jose Feb. 26. He played 50 NHL games. In 1991-92, he played 71 games for the Kings.
_ CAMMY CLARK