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John Kreiser | NHL.com columnist
Feb 5, 2007, 10:13 AM EST


Happily for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Martin St. Louis of 2003-04 is back.

St. Louis won the Art Ross and Hart trophies in 2003-04 while helping the Lightning to its first Stanley Cup. But he and the Lightning both struggled last season: St. Louis declined from 94 points to 61, and the Lighting was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

But St. Louis' scoring touch returned this season. He's already exceeded last season's production with 32 goals and 73 points - he's second in both categories. St. Louis has 22 multi-point games, including a two-assist effort in Saturday's 3-2 win over the New York Rangers, and has points in 16 of 18 games since the Christmas break.

St. Louis has two points in each of his last three games (2-4-6), all Tampa Bay wins, and is a big reason the Lightning are 10-2-0 in their last 12 games. He's on track to exceed his 2003-04 totals and break the 100-point mark for the first time. He figures to get plenty of opportunities; he's averaged more than 23 minutes a game during the Lightning's hot streak, and coach John Tortorella has shown the willingness to give his big guns as much ice time as they can handle.

Five Up: Our top five fantasy players of the week:

Nicklas Lidstrom: For a player who didn't score a goal last week, Lidstrom was as good as it gets. He had three assists in each of the Detroit Red Wings' two games (both wins), while averaging 28:49 of ice time. Lidstrom leads the NHL at plus-33.

Jarome Iginla: Calgary's captain returned from a knee injury last week without missing a beat. He had a goal and two assists against Columbus in his first game back and added two assists against Vancouver on Saturday.

Trent Hunter: Hunter was a Calder finalist in 2003-04 after scoring 25 goals, but struggled last season and in the early part of this season. But the big right wing has been contributing offensively again, going 4-4-8 in his last seven games for the New York Islanders, including a two-goal performance in Montreal on Saturday. He's also among the league leaders in hits among forwards and has turned into a good penalty-killer.

Andrew Raycroft: Raycroft has blown hot and cold for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season, but he's riding a hot streak now. He's won all four starts since the All-Star break, allowing just five goals in that span, to help the injury-riddled Leafs hang onto a playoff berth in the East.

Nicklas Backstrom: With Manny Fernandez battling injuries, the rookie goaltender has been making the most of his opportunity with the Minnesota Wild. Backstrom has won his last three starts, including back-to-back wins on the road Thursday and Saturday, capped by a 1-0 win in Phoenix.

Five Down: Five fantasy players who've been struggling:

Brad Boyes: The Boston Bruins have to be disappointed in Boyes, who went 26-43-69 last season, but ended a 16-game pointless streak when he scored Saturday night against Carolina. His last previous point was a goal against Columbus on Dec. 26. For the season, he's 9-18-27 and a woeful minus-17.
Mark Parrish: Parrish makes his living scoring goals, so when he's not putting the puck in the net, he's usually not doing a lot else to help. And he's not scoring: Parrish hasn't scored a goal in the Minnesota Wild's last 10 games and has just two assists in that span. He has just one shot on goal in his last two games.

Kari Lehtonen: The second-overall pick in the 2002 Entry Draft has already established personal highs for games (46), wins (24) and shutouts (4). But the Atlanta Thrashers' goaltender may be getting a little tired. He's lost three of his last four starts, all at home, and has allowed 12 goals on 93 shots in his last three games.

Eric Lindros: The former No. 1 overall pick has seen his scoring touch disappear in Dallas. He hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 20, 22 games ago and has just five for the season. With the injuries that Dallas has had, that's not enough production.

Fredrik Modin: Modin has been a disappointment for Columbus, which was counting on him for more than 12 goals and 24 points in 50 games. He has just one goal in his last seven games and two in 14 games in 2007.

Injury News and Notes:

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