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Pin it on swelled heads

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 9, 2000


TAMPA -- Some of the Lightning's best work Sunday may have fueled its greatest disappointment.

Tampa Bay killed 2:59 of short-handed time beginning at 10:22 of the third period with an aggressive defense and fine goaltending from Dan Cloutier.

The penalty kill preserved a 4-2 lead and maybe, forward Stan Drulia said, made the team a little overconfident.

"We didn't deserve to win to that point," he said after Vancouver's 5-4 victory. "But after that we deserved to win that game. Maybe after that we said, "It's over.' "

What was really over, he said, was the Lightning's determination.

"No doubt we didn't play 60 minutes," Drulia said. "This team wants to pride itself on hard work and determination. We didn't do that tonight and it cost us two points."

Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier agreed.

"The last 10 minutes of the game we floated," he said. "We have to play smarter and work harder."

He said the Lightning could take a lesson from Vancouver, which pressed the attack and forechecked relentlessly.

"We were coming at them all game," said Canucks center Denis Pederson, who scored the winner with 25 seconds left. "They didn't try to do it. We were doing it to them."

FIRST GOAL: Lightning center Brad Richards had a goal and an assist to claim his first NHL points.

"It was amazing," he said of the goal that gave Tampa Bay a 4-2 second-period lead. "It happened so fast, I didn't expect it. It's a great relief."

HELPING HAND: Right wing Wayne Primeau assisted on Tampa Bay's first three goals. Primeau had five points in 17 games for the Lightning last season.

ODDS AND ENDS: Primeau's assist on Steve Martins' goal was his 50th career point. ... The game was this season's only meeting between the teams. ... The Lightning is 1-7-1 in games after its opener. ... Goaltender Evgeny Konstantinov, defenseman Jassen Cullimore and left wing Kyle Freadrich were healthy scratches. ... Right wing Sheldon Keefe scored a goal Friday for the IHL Detroit Vipers in a 3-1 loss to the Utah Grizzlies.

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