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Tippett In, Lighnting Win Written by Dave Normoyle - December 4th, 2008

December 4th, 2008

Earlier today, the Tampa Bay Lightning officially signed new Head Coach Dave Tippett to a contract, replacing Randy Carlyle, who was let go yesterday.

It was the second move in as many days for the club, as a day earlier they traded players Pekka Rinne and Kyle Cumiskey to San Jose for veteran Ray Whitney.

Both moves paid off in spades today as the Lightning won convincingly at home 5-2 over the Dallas Stars.

Tippett was behind the bench, and Whitney played on a line with Scott Walker and Rod Brind' Amour in his first game with the club.

Earlier in the day, during an interview with beat reporter Laci Bloomers, Tippett mentioned that the leaders on this team must step up their game.  That is precisely what heppened today, as the Bolts rolled out to a 4-0 lead in the second period.

Mike Modano, signed to a new contract despite a decline last year in offensive numbers, responded with a pair of goals in the opening period.  Fernando Pisani and Kurt Sauer, just recalled after being banished to Macon for several games for poor defensive play, each assisted on Modano's openeing goal at 6:45.  Whitney combined with blueliner Dan McGillis to set up Modano's 9th of the season at 11:08.

Whitney was at it again in the second period, as he combined with Scott Walker to set up Rod Brind A'mour's 11th of the season just 2:34 into the period.

Kurt Sauer scored his 2nd of the season at 6:41 from his defence partner Mike Commodore and Jere Lehtinen to make the score 4-0.

Christoph Schubert beat Lightning goaltender Tim Thomas with his 3rd of the campaign 5 minutes later to wrap up the second period scoring.

Walker and McGillis each drew their 2nd assists of the game, setting up Denis Gauthier's 4th of the season 6:32 into the 3rd period to make it 5-1.  A Brad Larsen short-handed goal for Dallas wrapped up the scoring in the game.

Stars edged the Lightning 29-28 in shots.  Modano, Commodore, Walker and Whitney all finished the game at +3, while Sauer was a +2, his first + game of the season.

Next up is a trip to Buffalo to play the Sabres on Sunday.  Hopefully the magic of today will not be lost, and the club can build on what was clearly their best game of the season.



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