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Staff tries video flashback

In the Lightning's seemingly endless search for offense, seeing was apparently believing.

As part of the preparations for Saturday's game against the Penguins at the Ice Palace, coaches showed the players a video with the 27 goals the team had scored to that point.

"We just ran the tape and let them watch it," coach John Tortorella said. "They can see it, and maybe it just rekindles something."

The Lightning still has just 30 goals, the fewest in the league.But the 3-2 overtime victory broke a six-game losing streak and was the first game in seven Tampa Bay scored twice in a period.

"It's nice when you see the goals, especially when you're not scoring," center Vinny Prospal said.

Prospal has seen the trick before. He said it was used frequently in Ottawa when he played for the Senators.

The difference: Ottawa's tape would be dressed up with a musical score to add to the drama. The Lightning's video included play-by-play.

"It institutes some confidence that we can score goals," right wing Brian Holzinger said. "At this point we have to get some confidence back."

"Hopefully it helped us to be able to see that we scored those goals," Prospal said.

SCARY STAT: The victory over Pittsburgh was just the Lightning's fourth in overtime since 1997-98. It has lost 18.

THE NEW GUYS: Tortorella said at least one of the two defensemen acquired from the Devils in the Andrei Zyuzin trade will play Thursday night against the Maple Leafs. Whether it will be Josef Boumedienne or Sascha Goc is to be determined.

Boumedienne's background is interesting. Though born in Sweden, his father is Algerian and his mother is from Finland.

He said his father, a nonpracticing Muslim, is outraged at the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"He thinks there is no excuse for anything," Boumedienne said. "He's disgusted at everything that's happened."

Boumedienne said he is not religious.

"My religion is hockey," he said.

OUT OF THE LOOP: The player most conspicuously absent from the team's top three lines _ the lines Tortorella said will get the bulk of the work starting Thursday _ is center Tim Taylor.

Taylor, who is making $1.55-million, has been almost nonexistent on offense with one assist in 16 games, and that will apparently cost him playing time. He also is minus-5.

"There's nothing I can do," Taylor said of the decision. "You can't control what a coach does. You can only control how you play."

STAYING PUT: Of the rumor the Lightning is for sale, CEO Tom Wilson said, "It's not."

He said he has "no idea" where the rumor started.

Wilson said Palace Sports & Entertainment, which also owns the NBA's Detroit Pistons, was hit hard financially by lost sponsorships and ticket sales because of the the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but there has been a turnaround.

"We feel we've recovered pretty well," he said.

Of the company's commitment to the team, he said, "We hope to be there for a long time."

FACE THE PUCK: Vinny Lecavalier said he will soon go back to wearing a face shield.

The 21-year-old center put one on last season after breaking his nose. He took it off this season, saying it was uncomfortable and fogged over in the Ice Palace humidity.

He still would rather play without it, but after taking a stick above his right eye Saturday, he reconsidered.

"You just never know what can happen," he said.

_ DAMIAN CRISTODERO

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