TAMPA, Fla. – Martin St. Louis scored a tiebreaking, rebound goal with 1:43 left, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning past the New York Islanders 3-2 on Thursday night.

St. Louis was back in the lineup less than a week after breaking a bone near the tip of his left ring finger. It was first thought that St. Louis, who sat out two games, would miss two-to-four weeks. The 2004 NHL MVP also damaged his nail bed after being hit in the hand by defenseman Darryl Sydor’s shot in practice last Sunday.

St. Louis scored from in-close after Vincent Lecavalier, who lost his stick, kicked a loose puck toward the goal. The sequence started on Pavel Kubina’s shot from the point.

Tampa Bay has won two of three after a six-game losing streak.

Alexei Yashin had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who had won a season-best three straight. He got New York even at 2 after picking up a loose puck and scoring from the right circle 57 seconds into the third.

Robert Nilsson put New York ahead 1-0 at 5:35 of the first. He scored from the right circle off a nifty backhand pass by Yashin.

The Lightning tied it at 1 on Ruslan Fedotenko’s goal with 1:28 left in the first. Fedotenko scored off a pass from behind the net by Vinny Prospal.

Brad Richards gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead on a second-period goal at 11:49.

Notes: Prospal has 12 assists and 20 points during a 12-game point streak. It’s one short of the team record held by Brian Bradley and St. Louis. … The Islanders conclude a four city, six-day road trip Saturday at Florida.

AP-ES-11-17-05 2200EST


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