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Another smashing victory

LIGHTNING 5, HURRICANES 1: Rivalry results in 169 penalty minutes as Tampa Bay goes to 2-0-0 for first time.

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 13, 2002


TAMPA -- Ladies and gentlemen, can you say "rivalry"?

As if the Lightning's 5-1 trouncing of the Hurricanes, the defending Southeast Division and Eastern Conference champions wasn't enough, the game, in front of an announced 19,814 at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday night, was a thumping, bumping, fighting, stick-swinging affair.

Forty-nine penalties totaling 169 minutes were called by referees Don VanMassenhoven and Marc Joannette; 25 for 80 minutes on Carolina, 24 for 89 minutes on the Lightning.

That included a five-minute, high-sticking major and a 10-minute, intent-to-injure misconduct on Tampa Bay left wing Chris Dingman, who said he retaliated after Carolina's Jesse Boulerice slashed him across the face.

At one point in the third period, seven Carolina players crowded the penalty box. And even mild-mannered Lightning center Brad Richards, who had just 13 penalty minutes last season, got a 10-minute misconduct.

"That was just a frustrated hockey team," Dingman said of Carolina. "We outplayed them in every facet of the game."

"Carolina is not a team that goes out to cause a mess like this," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "They're a good, solid hockey team. But when you're losing like that, I guess they're trying to send a message also."

So many bodies were coming and going from the Carolina penalty box, the referees had trouble keeping it straight.

Defenseman Sean Hill got 14 penalty minutes after a confrontation with Tampa Bay's Alexander Svitov 6:41 into the third. Two minutes later, Hill left the box and skated a shift before being sent back.

Carolina defenseman Bret Hedican said he spent six minutes in the penalty box without being called for an infraction.

"He said, "You're not even supposed to be in here,' " Hedican said of the penalty timekeeper. "I said, "Thanks for telling me.' That sort of summed it up."

In summing up for Tampa Bay:

The Lightning is 2-0-0 for the first time in its 11-year history. It also is two games over .500 for the first time since Oct. 29, 1996.

It was a well-rounded effort that tied the Lightning with the Capitals atop the Southeast.

Tampa Bay scored three power-play goals and chased goalie Arturs Irbe, in favor of former Lightning Kevin Weekes, after the first period in which he allowed three goals on eight shots.

Ruslan Fedotenko scored twice. Martin St. Louis, Dave Andreychuk and Jassen Cullimore also scored. Vinny Lecavalier had three assists. Vinny Prospal had two.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 22 saves, though he lost the shutout with 25.3 seconds left on Rod Brind'Amour's five-on-three power-play goal.

Andreychuk's goal was his 594th and 246th on the power play, leaving him three short of Phil Esposito's record.

Things took a nasty turn in Carolina's mind 6:33 into the first when Lightning wing Ben Clymer drove Jaroslav Svoboda into the side boards from behind. It looked bad as Svoboda lay on the ice, but he only chipped a tooth.

"I was just trying to make a play," said Clymer, who was not penalized. "I didn't think it was a dirty hit, but they obviously did."

"When this happens in the course of a game, things either get settled or they don't," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

Clymer fought Niclas Wallin in the second and Kevyn Adams in the third.

Hill and Svitov got tangled twice, with both getting roughing and misconduct penalties in the third. Dingman and Boulerice tangled with 4:26 remaining.

Sure sounds like a rivalry, doesn't it?

"I think we use the term rivalry a little bit too easy," Tortorella said. "When we're playing for something, and hopefully someday we are, that's when the rivalries really come into play. But I'm really happy with the way the team reacted. We stood tall and handled ourselves."


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