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Andreychuk keeps focus on No. 600

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 17, 2002

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Dave Andreychuk did not do much to celebrate the NHL-record 250th power-play goal he scored Friday against the Sharks.

"I just went home," he said Saturday. "I'm saving it up."

The big party will happen when the Lightning left wing scores his next goal to become the 14th player with 600.

"I don't feel nervous about it," Andreychuk said. "If you're going to get it, you're going to get it."

More obvious is the excitement among Andreychuk's teammates. Right wing Martin St. Louis said he will be very aware of Andreychuk's spot on the ice in today's game against the Hurricanes.

"It would be awesome to get a chance to set him up for it," St. Louis said. "You want to get him as many opportunities as possible. I can't wait for it to happen."

When it does, defenseman Cory Sarich said Andreychuk will be able to "relax and enjoy the rest of the season. ... Not that he's shown any signs of tension, but I think the media attention has to be a little wearing."

Andreychuk, 39 and in his 21st season, seemed more concerned the anticipation will get in the team's way.

He speculated San Jose's goal 64 seconds after Friday's record-breaker happened, in part, because Tampa Bay was distracted by the hoopla. And he remembered how coach Jacques Lemaire reminded the Devils to keep focused when Andreychuk went for No. 500 in March 1997.

"He said, 'It will happen. Let's not go out and try to make it happen,' " Andreychuk said. "Maybe I'll say something (today) to that effect. I know everybody wants to be on the ice to get the assist. It's going to happen. I don't think we have to push for it. We just have to go out and play our game."

"I don't think our players are going overboard as far as wondering where David is," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "Andy (Andreychuk) won't allow that either. They know if that happens they will be corrected, not by me but by Andy. He wants the game to go, and things will happen the way they should."

Modin, Hodson hurt

The Lightning said left wing Fredrik Modin will be out 7-10 days with back spasms and a bruised rib, and backup goalie Kevin Hodson is day to day with a groin strain.

Head medical trainer Tom Mulligan said Modin was injured when cross-checked Friday. He said Hodson was hurt last week when he stepped on a puck at practice. Mulligan said the injury is not considered serious.

Evgeny Konstantinov will be Nikolai Khabibulin's backup against the Hurricanes. He was 3-6-0 with a 4.03 goals-against average and an .862 save percentage in 10 games with AHL Springfield.


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