Bolts get third straight win


Published: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
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Atlanta's Eric Boulton, right, and Tampa Bay's Nolan Pratt fight for control of the puck during the first period Saturday in Atlanta. The Lightning won, 2-0.

The Associated Press
ATLANTA - Vincent Lecavalier and Fredrik Modin scored for Tampa Bay, and John Grahame shut out the Atlanta Thrashers for the second time this season in a 2-0 victory Saturday night that lifted the Lightning back into second place in the Southeast Division.
Tampa Bay won its third in a row, while the Thrashers have lost two straight after winning seven of eight. The Lightning improved to 53 points - one ahead of the Thrashers, who slipped into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Grahame, a U.S. Olympic goalie, turned aside 20 shots for his third shutout of the season. He also blanked the Thrashers in a 6-0 rout on Oct. 20, also in Atlanta.
Modin scored a fluke goal off a double-ricochet in the first period, then Lecavalier iced it for the Lightning with 7:27 remaining. After Darryl Sydor fired a shot off the post, Lecavalier backhanded a loose puck past goalie Keri Lehtonen from the side of the net.
The opening period was largely uneventful until the Thrashers were called for two straight penalties. They killed off the first one, only to have Serge Aubin get whistled for hooking just 7 seconds later.
This time, the Lightning took advantage. Brad Richards attempted a shot from near the left circle, but the puck deflected off Thrashers defenseman Niclas Havelid, then bounced off Fredrik Modin, who was tied up with Atlanta's Andy Sutton in front of the net. Lehtonen had no idea where the puck was as it skidded into the net for Modin's 19th goal.
Lehtonen came up with one of his best saves of the season early in the second period. Martin St. Louis stole the puck in the Thrashers zone, took off to the Atlanta net and slipped a pass to Lecavalier breaking in alone off right wing.
The Lightning star appeared to have a certain goal, but Lehtonen snatched the puck out of the air with a brilliant glove save as he sprawled across the crease.
Lecavalier got payback in the third, however, with his 20th of the season.
The Thrashers had a couple of good chances on a power play late in the second period. Marc Savard had an open look streaking off left wing, but made an ill-advised pass in front that was broken up by Tampa Bay.
Savard got another chance from straight on with the clock winding down, but his blistering shot caught the post to Grahame's left as the horn sounded. It wasn't clear if the shot would have counted even if the puck had gone in.
The defensive struggled was a far cry from the Thrashers' last game, a wild, 8-6 loss at Los Angeles on Thursday that snapped a franchise-record, five-game winning streak.

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