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Associated Press
11/8/2006 10:42:17 PM


PITTSBURGH (AP) - Vincent Lecavalier's goal 2:41 into overtime gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

Nils Ekman had a natural hat trick, scoring three straight goals late in the second period for Pittsburgh. The Penguins have gained at least a point in seven of their last eight games.

Lecavalier had a breakaway on Marc-Andre Fleury after Martin St. Louis found him with a long pass from the Tampa Bay end to near the Pittsburgh blue line. It was the second assist of the game for St. Louis, who has a 10-game point streak.

Sidney Crosby and Sergei Gonchar each had two assists for the Penguins, who have lost five in a row at Mellon Arena to the Lightning.

Ekman's goals came at 15:37, 18:19 and 19:47 of the second period against Tampa Bay goalie Johan Holmqvist.

The four minutes, 10 seconds between goals represented the shortest period of time for one player to score three goals in Penguins' history. The previous record was held by Lowell MacDonald, who had three in 4:17 of a 5-2 win against Minnesota on Nov. 13, 1973.

Dimitry Afanasenkov scored the game's first goal with 6:02 to play in the opening period when he deflected in a shot from the point by Nikita Alexeev from the right circle.

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Hattrick for Ekman! The Penguins still lost, but Nils Ekman is showing that he's one of the hidden gems of Pittsburghs off-season signings. Always an underated player in my opinion.

He should be getting 50-60 points this year to add to whatever Crosby and Malkin will end up getting.

Nice win by Tampa though. Lecavalier is on of the last player a team should allow to have a break away, especially in Overtime.

The Penguins saw why. Tough loss, after battline back liek that, and the Natural Hattrick and everything. They get a point, but I think they should have gotten 2.
 
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