Lightning 3, Blackhawks 2, SO

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—John Grahame was not out to impress anyone. All he wanted was another victory.

Grahame won his seventh straight decision, and Brad Richards scored the deciding goal in the shootout in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.

Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin didn’t play, but got his 2004 Stanley Cup ring before the morning skate from Tampa Bay general manager Jay Feaster. Grahame moved into the starting role with the Lightning following Khabibulin’s departure earlier this year.

“To be honest, it was more of just us trying to keep this thing rolling,” Grahame said. “You just want to do well for yourself and your teammates. You’re not looking at what other people think.”

Richards gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead through two rounds of the shootout. Grahame then stopped Mark Bell to win it.

“Obviously he was the biggest key,” Lightning coach John Tortorella said of Grahame. “Johnny is trying to stay within himself, and keep the focus that he has right now.”

Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier scored for the Lightning, who have won eight of 10.

It’s the first time Khabibulin, who signed a four-year, $27 million free-agent contract with the Blackhawks in August, would have faced his former team since he and Tampa Bay beat Calgary in Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals.

“It was my decision not to play him,” Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. “I think it’s too early to start playing people in back-to-back games. The other thing is, from my standpoint, I want him to enjoy where he played his last game.”

Khabibulin is scheduled to start Saturday at Florida.

“It’s probably the right thing to do,” Khabibulin said. “Obviously it would be hard to keep the focus today, and we have a game tomorrow. I agree with their decision. It’s not a big deal.”

Backup Craig Anderson stopped 25 Lightning shots.

“He stood on his head for us,” Blackhawks left wing Kyle Calder said.

Chicago got goals from Brent Seabrook and Bell, who has nine goals and 14 points during an eight-game point streak.

The Blackhawks had a potential go-ahead goal with 11:25 left disallowed following a video review when it was ruled that Matthew Barnaby intentionally redirected the puck into the net with his glove. Duncan Keith also hit the crossbar with 4:24 to go in overtime.

Grahame made 34 saves, including one on Calder during a 2-on-1 seven minutes into the game. His winning streak is one short of the team record set by Khabibulin in 2004.

St. Louis put the Lightning ahead 1-0 during a 5-on-3 power play at 11:25 of the first. He has five goals in eight games since missing two with a broken bone near the tip of his left ring finger.

Seabrook tied it at 1 during a delayed penalty with 1:22 left in the first.

The Lightning went back up 2-1 on Lecavalier’s goal at 12:18 of the second. It was just his second goal in 13 games.

Bell’s goal with 26.9 seconds remaining in the second made it 2-all.

“The positive for us is we found a way to get two points,” Tortorella said. “We looked brain dead in everything we did, but that happens. When you start becoming a good team, you win those type games.”

Notes

Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk, who had an assist, played after being hit on the chin by a shot during the morning skate. He sustained a cut that required six stitches to close. … Calder had an assist, giving him nine and 12 points during an eight-game point streak.

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  Game Winning Goal
B. Richards B. Richards
Tampa Bay Lightning
Scored in the SO period

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Craig Anderson Ott 27 25