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Bure spurt spurs new challenge

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 2, 2002


NEW YORK -- It did not take Pavel Bure long to respond after Rangers coach Bryan Trottier chastised the superstar in print.

Bure, who had two goals in his past 15 games, got two during Sunday's 4-3 victory over the Lightning, the day the New York papers quoted Trottier as saying Bure "has to pick it up."

Trottier tried again after the game, challenging Bure to improve his defense.

"It's fun when players step up on offense, but there's two sides of the ice," Trottier said.

Bure, who has 11 goals, said, "I'll do whatever it takes to win games," then explained how his game had changed.

"If you want to score 50 goals, you have to hang out at the red line and take chances," he said. "If you want to stay within the system and play defensively, you are going to have to stay more in the slot, and you're not going to get any breakaways, and that is why I don't have any breakaways.

"So it depends on which direction you want to go. Do you want to score 50 goals and lose some games or score 20 and win some games?"

Bure said he is ready to commit to the latter.

"My direction is to win games, not to score," he said. "You can't do both. You can't score a lot of goals and play great defensively."

SHUTTING HIM DOWN: That is what Lightning center Tim Taylor did to Eric Lindros. The big center had one shot on goal as Taylor's line, including Andre Roy and Ben Clymer, shadowed Lindros and wings Rem Murray and Sandy McCarthy.

"As long as their best players on the ice aren't beating you," you have a chance to win," Taylor said.

Lindros made a nice play screening goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on New York's second goal.

BOYLE HEATING UP?: The assist by defenseman Dan Boyle on Ruslan Fedotenko's first-period power-play goal was his seventh in six games after being shut out in nine.

"The points are coming," Boyle said, "but the last couple of games we've been behind and that lets me take a few more chances."

FAN CLUB DINNER: The Lightning fan club's Toys for Tots dinner is 6 p.m. Dec. 15 at Icons restaurant at the St. Pete Times Forum. Former Tampa Bay right wing John Tucker is expected to attend.

Tickets are $25 for fan club members, $30 for non-members. For information, call Neil Armstrong at (813) 404-3723.

ODDS AND ENDS: Taylor took a slap shot off the top of his left foot in the second period. He will be re-evaluated today. ... Forward Brian Holzinger and right wing Sheldon Keefe were healthy scratches.

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