- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) After blowing a big lead, the Tampa Bay Lightning have started another comeback.
The Lightning squandered a three-goal advantage last night, but Dave Andreychuk snapped a third-period tie and lifted Tampa Bay to a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils to get back into the second-round playoff series.
Playing with the same sense of urgency that helped them overcome a two-game deficit in the first round, the Lightning now trail the Devils 2-1 as they try to rally in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Andreychuk scored the game-winner with 13:52 remaining, and Nikolai Khabibulin rebounded from a shaky second period to make two key saves in the final two minutes with New Jersey desperately trying to take advantage of a power play.
The Devils won the first two games of the series at home, but the victory bolstered the Lightning's confidence that they can rally again to prolong their first playoff appearance in seven years.
Game 4 of the best-of-7 series is tomorrow night in Tampa. The series returns to New Jersey for Game 5 on Friday night.
New Jersey played most of the game without captain Scott Stevens, who left early in the first period after a shot by Tampa Bay's Pavel Kubina hit him in the left ear, opening a cut that required stitches.
Vinny Prospal, Martin St. Louis and Fredrik Modin scored first-period goals for Tampa Bay, which won four straight to eliminate Washington after losing the first two games at home in the first round.
Prospal scored when his shot deflected into the net off the stick of New Jersey defenseman Colin White a little more than four minutes in. Five minutes later, St. Louis added his seventh goal of the playoffs for a 2-0 lead.
When Modin scored from the right circle to make it 3-0, it looked bleak for the Devils, who rallied from one-goal deficits twice before winning Game 2 in overtime. But goaltender Martin Brodeur dug in the rest of the way, and New Jersey launched an impressive comeback.
John Madden and Grant Marshall scored less than a minute apart in the second period to trim Tampa Bay's lead to 3-2. Jeff Friesen's shot from the left circle, which officials determined was a goal after a video replay, made it 3-3 late in the period.
Andreychuk broke the tie from in front of the net just moments after Madden nearly beat Khabibulin with a shot that caromed off the right post.
The goal came after a faceoff in the Tampa Bay that incensed New Jersey coach Pat Burns, who was unable to complete a line change. Burns screamed at the officials and pounded on the boards in front of his bench when White was not allowed to get on the ice.
New Jersey won the faceoff and had a shot hit the post before the Lightning moved up ice and scored.

Notes The Lightning are trying to stage the NHL's 35th comeback from a 2-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series. They had the 34th in the first round. … Brodeur allowed more than two goals in a game for the first time in this year's playoffs. … Tampa Bay's Brad Richards had two points in the first period after having just two points through the first eight games of the playoffs. … Marshall has goals the last two games after going his first 65 playoff games without one.



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