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Lightning Lead Carolina 3-0 After First Period

The starting Lightning athletes were not expected to take the field, but the Bolts let them play against the Hurricanes.

The first goal came on a deflection nine feet out by Dominic Moore, assisted by Steve Downie and Marc-Andre Bergeron.

The second goal came from an exceptional pass by Martin St. Louis. With no men on the Carolina side, St. Louis intercepted a pass and bounced it off the wall to get to Vincent Lecavalier on a break away. Tampa's captain charged to the net and tapped it into the 5-hole (between the goalies legs). Had the pass been down the ice, it surely would have been intercepted.

The third goal was for phenom Steven Stamkos on a tap in goal. Stamkos was headed full speed to the net and caught a delayed pass with seven feet left, Ted Purcell and Simon Gagne given the assist.

Mike Smith has also shown moments of brilliance in the net, most notably kicking the puck for a save after landing flat on his back on a save seconds earlier.

Stamkos credited the motivation to play so hard to some words from Coach Boucher. "You never know if you would meet again in the play offs." Might as well beat them now, right?

Two periods remain, Tampa up 3-0. Ryan Malone did not make todays trip in favor of getting rest. 

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.