Lightning End Skid, Top Pens


Finally, the music played in the Tampa Bay Lightning locker room.

Darcy Tucker scored twice and 1998 No. 1 overall draft pick Vincent Lecavalier recorded his first NHL point as the Lightning snapped a 15-game winless streak with a 5-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

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  • Lightning goaltender Daren Puppa stopped 28 shots in recording his 18th career shutout and first since March 26, 1996.

    "We have the music on in the room -- I hope the guys realize how good it feels to win," Tampa Bay coach Jacques Demers said. "There's a lot of pressure off all of us. We played 60 minutes of hockey ... that's the difference."

    The Lightning (1-4-1) had not won a game since a 3-1 triumph March 30 at the New York Rangers. Tampa Bay also stopped a franchise record-tying 10-game winless streak at home, dating back to a 5-1 victory over Florida on March 21.

    "I think everybody in the organization is just a little bit relieved tonight," said Tucker, who had his first career two-goal game. "We started to play with a little more ease. I think the guys out there didn't squeeze their sticks like they were sawdust and break them."

    Tampa Bay broke the game open with a four-goal second period, with the goals coming on just five shots. Penguins goaltender Peter Skudra was pulled midway through the period after allowing goals by Tucker and Alex Selivanov.

    Skudra was filling in for Penguins No. 1 goaltender Tom arrasso, who pulled a groin muscle last Saturday and is day-to-day.

    Lightning/Penguins
    Lightning players finally had something to celebrate as they downed the Penguins 5-0 for their first victory of the season. (AP)

    Rookie goaltender Jean-Sebastian Aubin, who played the final 12 minutes in the second period, did not fare much better in his NHL debut. Rob Zamuner, who hadn't scored a goal in his past 27 games and Wendel Clark made it 5-0 after scoring on the only two shots the Pittsburgh goaltender faced.

    "I know our goalies -- they're young and they'll be disappointed in the effort," Penguins coach Kevin Constantine said. "As far as the team's play, we probably played a better game than we played against the Rangers (a 3-3 tie last Saturday) in terms of energy, physical play and scoring chances."

    Pittsburgh outshot the Lightning 28-18.

    Lacavalier assisted on Tucker's first-period power-play goal at 5:50. After Michal Sykora's blue-line shot went wide, the Lightning center collected the puck behind the goal and send it to Tucker, who snapped an 18-game, goal-scoring drought from the slot.

    "I'm happy it came. It was a big relief," Lecavalier said. "It was very exciting. I just played the same way as before and it came."

    The game featured the two-referee system, which is being used in selected games this season. Referees Terry Gregson and Brad Watson called just nine penalties. The pair whistled 10 infractions in last Sunday's Washington-Tampa Bay contest.

    The Lightning entered the game a league-worst 1-for-26 on the power play, but converted 2-of-4 chances.

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