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Lightning past Kings, 3-1

Evgeny Artyukhin and Mark Recchi scored 41 seconds apart late in the first period, Vincent Lecavalier also had a goal, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 Monday night.

Evgeny Artyukhin and Mark Recchi scored 41 seconds apart late in the first period, Vincent Lecavalier also had a goal, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 Monday night.

Mike Smith made 29 saves, helping lead the Lightning to their third win in four games and improving his career record against the Kings to 5-0-0. The only puck that got past him was Peter Harrold's one-timer to the glove side at 18:02 of the second period.

The game featured a matchup between the first two overall picks in the draft, Tampa Bay centre Steven Stamkos and Kings defenceman Drew Doughty, who were teammates when Canada won the goal medal in last year's world junior championships.

Doughty received a hard but clean check against the glass by the six-foot-five, 260-pound Artyukhin in the right corner of the Tampa Bay zone at 10:43 of the second period and left the game with a bruised right thigh. O'Donnell followed Artyukhin toward the Lightning bench and cross-checked him in the shoulder, earning himself two minutes in the penalty box.

Tampa Bay's David Koci and Kings enforcer Raitis Ivanans both received fighting majors and 10-minute misconducts at 17:33 of the opening period. The brawl appeared to spark the Lightning, who opened the scoring 43 seconds later after managing just three shots on net to that point.

Stamkos got the primary assist on Artyukhin's goal, tipping Vladimir Mihalik's backhanded clearing pass ahead to Artyukhin and starting a 3-on-1 rush. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound right wing carried the puck into the right circle with Adam Hall on the other side of defenceman Peter Harrold, then took a wrist shot that beat Erik Ersberg to the stick side.

Recchi made it 2-0 with his 10th goal and 532nd of his career, scoring on a 12-foot backhander that beat Ersberg to the glove side after he stopped Vincent Lecavalier's shot from close range.

The teams were skating 4-on-4 when Lecavalier gave Tampa Bay a three-goal lead at 5:48 of the second. He used defenceman Sean O'Donnell as a screen and beat Ersberg to the stick side with a one-timer from the middle of the left circle after he was set up by Martin St. Louis. Lecavalier's team-high 17th goal came on the seventh shot against Ersberg, who was replaced at that point by Jonathan Quick.

Notes: The last time the first two players in the NHL draft met during the ensuing season was Oct. 22, 2003, when Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (No.1) stopped all four shots by Carolina's Eric Staal (No.2) in a 1-1 tie. The previous three combos were Owen Nolan and Petr Nedved (1990), Alexander Daigle and Chris Pronger (1993), and Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau (1997). ... Stamkos has four goals and 11 assists in 41 games, Doughty three goals and nine assists in 42 contests. Stamkos has taken the most shots on net among rookies (84), and Doughty has blocked the most shots among first-year players (53). ... Ten of Lecavalier's 17 goals this season have come in Tampa Bay's 13 victories, including three two-goal efforts. ... Tampa Bay LW Gary Roberts, whose 232 penalty minutes against the Kings represent his third-highest total against any team, hasn't played since Nov. 29 because of an injured left elbow and plans to retire at the end of the season. ... Kings radio analyst Daryl Evans, who scored the winning goal for them in the 1982 "Miracle On Manchester" playoff win against Edmonton at the Forum, celebrated his 48th birthday on Monday. ... This is the second time the Lightning have beaten the Kings and Anaheim Ducks in back-to-back road games. They also did it Dec. 4-5, 1993.

 
 
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