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Wings Continue Lightning's Skid


Steve Yzerman didn't waste much time once he got back from his leg injury.

Yzerman scored on his first shift and added two assists after missing the past three games with a left leg injury as the Detroit Red Wings beat Tampa Bay 5-4 Thursday night and extended the Lightning's winless streak to 16 games.

Aaron Ward's third goal in four games with 10:04 left was the game-winner and Vyacheslav Kozlov contributed two power-play goals for the Red Wings.

"We're fortunate Yzerman played tonight or we wouldn't have won the game," Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman said. "He had a jump in his step."

Yzerman stole a pass by Bryan Marchment and put a wrist shot between Mark Fitzpatrick's pads 1:39 into the game. The Red Wings' captain assisted on Anders Eriksson's power-play goal at 6:09, giving Detroit a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

"I just wanted to get back playing, particularly before going over there (to the Olympics)," Yzerman said. "The leg feels fine."

On the game-winner, Ward moved in from the left post and put a wrist shot past Fitzpatrick after taking Kirk Maltby's pass from the right corner.

"It's basic physics out there, if the puck is not going on net its not going to go in," Ward said. "I caught a forward (Jason Bonsignore) staring at the puck and it came behind him. I caught him flat-footed and beyond that it was just getting the puck toward the net."

Tampa Bay had tied the game on Mikael Renberg's third-period goal at 1:14.

"We don't have a lot of confidence right now," Renberg said. ``We have to learn how to win hockey games. The guys are working harder now."

The Lightning's 0-14-2 streak matched a franchise record set earlier this season. It was the second game in two nights for the Lightning, who broke a 13-game losing streak with a 3-3 tie Wednesday night at Carolina.

Tampa Bay has the NHL's worst record at 9-37-9.

The Red Wings improved to 7-1-1 all-time at Tampa Bay. The only Lightning home win over the Red Wings was the first meeting Nov. 11, 1992.

A wild second period saw Kozlov score two power-play goals and Tampa Bay's Cory Cross, Paul Ysebaert and Bonsignore score durin a 3:46 span.

With Tampa Bay trailing 2-0, Cross recorded his second goal in three games with a shot from the blue line at 1:45. Ysebaert had the puck go in off his skate at 4:49 after Chris Osgood stopped his breakaway backhander. Bonsignore added a rebound goal at 5:31.

Kozlov's goals at 12:32 and 19:50 put Detroit up 4-3 after 40 minutes.

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