Sniper sets sights higher

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:33 PM ET


 TAMPA -- Maybe Martin St. Louis should give Jarome Iginla a call.

 Certainly, the Flames captain would be able to help his former teammate with the scrutiny that's coming his way.

 St. Louis was the only Tampa Bay Lightning player who put a puck past Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff in the series opener.

 Still, the club's leading scorer is being called upon by the locals to ensure his team recovers from the Game 1 loss with an offensive outburst.

 That's because St. Louis' powerplay tally in the third period of the 4-1 defeat was only his second goal in 12 games.

 At least St. Louis is taking it in stride.

 "It was one of those games that I had a lot of scoring chances. That's a positive, I guess," said St Louis, who's netted 12 assists in his supposed dry spell. "But scoring chances after a while mean nothing if you don't bear down and capitalize on them. I had a great, two great opportunities in the first period that could have made a difference. I just wasn't able to capitalize but you can't dwell on that."

 Even with the likes of Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Fredrik Modin around to take the bull by the horns, it's the diminutive St. Louis who appears to be the straw that stirs the Lightning drink. He was certainly the most visible of those standouts in the opener -- and just missed a perfectly set up one-timer in the first period -- but insists it wasn't enough.

 "I think my best series was against the Islanders," he said. "The Montreal series and the Philadelphia series, they weren't my best. Fortunately, we had different guys step up.

 "Your game goes up and down and it's been a long playoff ... but I feel my game is on the way back up.

 "I know (Tuesday) night was a loss but I did something I hadn't done in a while. I'm going to take that into Game 2 and hopefully capitalize on the chances I can get."

 St. Louis may be little hard on himself, maybe, but his teammates understand the motivation.

 "That's why he's on the top of the league, because he demands a lot from himself," said captain Dave Andreychuk. "All the good players do.

 "He's a guy that wants to carry the load.

 "We're trying to help him out as best we can, everybody else around him but he expects a lot.

 "That's kind of filtered down through our room and why we're where we're at."

 Lightning head coach John Tortorella had no problem defending the Hart Trophy candidate.

 "I thought he did some really good things. I think it's a matter of time before he starts scoring consistently again, which is a very important thing for our team."


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