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Philadelphia
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40-21-15-6
Tampa Bay
Lightning
46-22-8-6

20 SOG
36 SOG
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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tuesday, 02.17.2004 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Flyers-Lightning Preview

GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (31-13-11-5) at Tampa Bay Lightning (30-17-7-3).

TIME: Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST.

Martin St. Louis could very well win the Hart Trophy by the time he's done.

St. Louis will look to continue his MVP-like season when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Philadelphia Flyers in a battle of division leaders.

As the Lightning continue to run away with the Southeast Division, St. Louis is on pace to easily surpass his career highs of 70 points and 33 goals, set last season.

The 5-foot-9, 181-pound right wing sits fourth in the league in points with 63, fifth in goals with 28 and tied for fifth with a plus-22 rating.

As impressive as all that is, St. Louis has developed an even bigger reputation as a tenacious penalty killer.

St. Louis scored his league-leading seventh short-handed goal in Saturday's 3-2 win over Florida. He also leads the NHL with nine short-handed points.

"St. Louis is a madman on short-handed situation, bottom line," Florida coach John Torchetti said. "He works hard, and that's what it's all about."

St. Louis, who has four goals and eight points during a four-game point streak, scored the eventual game-winning goal on a breakaway with 1:18 left in the second period.

"You get a chance to go, you got to go," St. Louis said. "It's a big turnaround. You want to capitalize on those chances. It's tough on the other team when they're on the power-play and we have the puck. It's annoying."

Though the Lightning are unbeaten in four (3-0-1), have won nine of their last 11 (9-1-1) and own a 16-point lead over second-place Florida in the Southeast, coach John Tortorella wants his team to remain focused.

"I get a kick ... I hear a lot of things that we have this division sewn up," Tortorella said. "We don't have anything sewn up. We have a lot of hockey to play and a lot of things can happen."

The Flyers had their five-game winning streak halted with a 5-2 loss to visiting San Jose on Monday.

John LeClair and Simon Gagne scored for the Eastern Conference-leading Flyers, who lost for just the second time in 12 games (9-2-1).

Sean Burke allowed five goals on 20 shots, losing for the first time in three starts since coming to the Flyers in a trade last week.

"There's no excuse," Flyers forward Mark Recchi said. "We had a bad practice in the morning and it carried over into the game."

The Flyers were without All-Star centers Jeremy Roenick (concussion, broken jaw) and Keith Primeau (concussion) for the second straight game. Roenick could miss the rest of the regular season, and Primeau's return is uncertain.

2003-2004 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 17 '04PHI 2 at TBL 5B. Richards
Feb 02 '04TBL 2 at PHI 1R. Fedotenko
Jan 03 '04PHI 1 at TBL 6F. Modin
Dec 18 '03TBL 5 at PHI 4 - OTM. St. Louis
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