Tampa Bay keeps posting shutouts with goalie Burke


Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Sean Burke grabs the puck on a shot by Philadelphia Flyers Michal Handzus of Slovakia (26) during the second period on Saturday in Philadelphia. Watching is Tampa Bay's Dan Doyle.

The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
PHILADELPHIA - No matter who starts in goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning, opponents aren't scoring.
Sean Burke made 38 saves and Fredrik Modin had three goals, leading the Lightning to a 6-0 victory Saturday over the struggling Philadelphia Flyers.
Dan Boyle, Vaclav Prospal and Ryan Craig also scored for defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay, which has won five of six, including three shutouts.
"I thought they took some funny-angle shots in the beginning, trying to catch me," said Burke, who posted his 36th career shutout. "But the rebounds just bounced out from those angles and you're going to give up some rebounds, but our defense was right there to clear them away."
John Grahame has shutouts in his last two starts for the Lightning, who are climbing up the Eastern Conference standings.
"Obviously, our goalies are playing tremendous for us," Modin said. "They're a huge part of keeping us in the game. Our game, we've stepped it up a notch. We've been talking a lot about what to do and everybody knows what to do and when everybody sticks to the system, it's fun to play."
The Atlantic Division-leading Flyers have lost seven of 10, including five of six at home. They've allowed a hat trick in consecutive games - Jan Bulis had four goals in Montreal's 5-3 win Thursday.
"That was an absolute embarrassment," Flyers forward Mike Knuble said. "We're at the low point of our season. As far as reasons why, that's what we're all searching for. There's not a guy who doesn't look in the mirror and wonder what they're doing."
The Lightning have won the last seven regular-season meetings against Philadelphia, including three this season. The Flyers took Tampa Bay to seven games in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals.
Modin recorded his third career hat trick when he scored his 22nd goal off a rebound to give the Lightning a 4-0 lead in the third period. His first two goals were on the power play.
The Flyers were without star center Peter Forsberg (groin), captain Keith Primeau (concussion), defenseman Eric Desjardins (shoulder) and forward Branko Radivojevic (ankle).
Defenseman Kim Johnsson returned after missing three games with concussion-like symptoms, but left because of dizziness. Defenseman Joni Pitkanen, who had surgery for a sports hernia, played for the first time since Dec. 3.
But coach Ken Hitchcock wouldn't blame the team's recent woes on the slew of injuries.
"We're in a tough state right now," Hitchcock said. "We have some real adversity. Every mistake is in our net. We can't score on the chances we get. We can't kill penalties."
The Lightning took a 1-0 lead on Boyle's 11th goal in the first period. Boyle put a rebound into an empty net when goaltender Antero Niittymaki couldn't control the puck after making a chest save on a shot by Evgeny Artyukhin.
Modin's first goal gave Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead 2:10 later. Modin redirected Darryl Sydor's slap shot from the point between his legs and through Niittymaki's legs.
Modin scored again on a man-advantage to make it 3-0 in the second period. He deflected with his stick blade a slap shot by Pavel Kubina through Niittymaki's legs for his 21st goal.
"We've been struggling a little bit on the power play, but we got two great shots by Sydor first and Kubina second," Modin said. "They were just looking for guys in front. Obviously you're always lucky when those tips go in. But it's tough for the goalie to know where it's going."
Prospal and Craig scored 14 seconds apart in the third period.
"Burke faced more shots than I did. He stopped them," Niittymaki said.
Notes: Sydor left in the second period with a huge gash on his face. ... The Flyers haven't beaten the Lightning in the regular season since April 4, 2003. ... Philadelphia has lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season. ... Boyle's goal was his first in 14 games. ... The Lightning came in 29th on the power play, but scored three times with the man advantage. ... The Flyers hadn't allowed a hat trick in consecutive games since 1999.

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