Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
MapleLeafs.com proudly sponsored by ROGERS™ Welcome to the Official Site of Leafs Nation - MapleLeafs.com
Tampa Bay
Lightning
24-40-18
Toronto
Maple Leafs
34-35-13

30 SOG
21 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
TBL
TOR
game recap

Lightning Strike Leafs

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

The Canadian Press

Share with your Friends


Lightning Strike Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 1
Ulmer's Take | Box | Pics : Pre | Game In 6 | Post | Wilson | Stempniak | More...

TORONTO (CP) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning might not be 29th in the 30-team NHL if they got to play the Maple Leafs more often.

A 4-1 victory Thursday night improved their record against Toronto this season to 3-0.

They were tired after a 3-2 overtime loss in Ottawa on Wednesday and somehow found the energy to rally after falling behind on an early goal by Lee Stempniak. Goals by Matt Pettinger, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone and Paul Szczechura buried the Leafs.


"My legs felt better in the third than they did in the first," said Malone. "You get your second wind and kind of just roll with it."

Getting the lead was a big help, said St. Louis.

"It's a lot easier to play with a lead," he said.

Toronto had earned 15 of a possible 22 points in its previous 11 games but couldn't cope with the Lightning.

"We responded well from our loss in Ottawa," said Malone.

The Lightning are well aware there is not a chance they can make the playoffs but they are trying to finish the season on an upbeat note.

"We want to build a foundation for next year," said St. Louis.

There were exhibition games played in Air Canada Centre in years past that had more intensity than the first half of this one.

Stempniak scored the only goal of a first period that included only 12 shots on goal. Two penalties were assessed, both to the Lightning, and the Leafs were unable to get a shot on Ramo during the four minutes they had the manpower advantage.

"We were standing around," Malone said of his team's slow start. "We weren't strong on the puck individually and they did a good job of getting on us."

The second period started with Martin Gerber kicking out his right leg to stop a breakaway shot by St. Louis. On another breakaway a minute later, Pettinger scored on a shot to the same spot. This time, Gerber fell into his net and the puck followed him across the goal line.

The third, fourth and fifth penalties of the game were assessed to the Leafs and the Lightning couldn't score with an extra skater for six minutes, but they'd gained momentum and had the upper hand for the rest of the period.

St. Louis made it 2-1 at 17:10 when he fired a cross-ice pass from Steven Stamkos into the open side of the Leafs net for his 25th goal. Tampa Bay's 16-5 shots advantage in the second was a tipoff to which way the game was going.

"We turned the tide in the second," said Malone.

Stamkos and St. Louis have been linemates for the last week and one wonders, given how good they look skating together, why the coaches didn't try it earlier in the season.

"Marty is so good at winning the little battles and that's contagious," said Stamkos. "You don't want to disappoint him by not winning those battles.

"He's such a great player that you want to get him the puck. It's a treat for me to play with him. To play with a Hart Trophy winner is pretty special for me. I can see my game elevating just by his presence on the ice with me."

Stamkos is a right-handed centre and St. Louis, a right-winger, said he's never played with a righty previously in the NHL.

"It's different," said St. Louis. "Whenever he's got the puck in the middle, he's on his backhand to come to me.

"At the same time, when he's on my side of the ice, he's ready to feed me for a one-timer. I try to buy time for him and (pass to) him at the right time. He's being very responsive to what we've talked about."

The Leafs got their third power-play chance when Jeff Halpern high-sticked John Mitchell at 7:11 of the third. They managed to get a shot on Ramo this time but they couldn't tie it.


When Anton Stralman took his second penalty of the night at 13:06, Malone fired in his 24th, from Gerber's doorstep at 14:35, to put this one in the W column for Tampa Bay.

Szczechura capped the scoring at 17:54 with his third NHL goal. The undrafted rookie from Brantford, Ont., has appeared in 22 games. He hadn't scored since Dec. 23.

Leafs coach Ron Wilson was ejected in the last minute for arguing with the referees.

"Yeah, I've been kicked out before," said Wilson. "It's not a big deal."

The game's turning point was when Alexei Ponikarovsky missed an open net when he could have put the Leafs up 2-0 in the first period, said Wilson. Penalty troubles followed for the Leafs.

"What happened is, we killed too many penalties in the second period and lost our momentum," said Wilson. "They gained it and we could never find a way to get it back."

Tampa Bay outshot Toronto 30-21.

"The shots they had, Karri did a good job of smothering them," said Malone. "They didn't get too many second chances."

Too few second chances hurt the Leafs, Stempniak agreed.

"They took it to us in the second period and part of that was our fault," he said. "We didn't take the extra stride to get pucks in or really pay the price to win the game.

"The game was right there at the beginning of the second period but it just turned in their favour."

Notes: Announced attendance was 19,209 . . . Hadn't seen this during an NHL game in Air Canada Centre before: a spectator threw a puck onto the ice in the third period and a linesman retrieved it as play continued . . . The Leafs have 13 games remaining. They play at home against Calgary on Saturday (CBC, 7 p.m. ET) then hit the road for games against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Florida on Thursday and Montreal on Sunday . . . Lightning rookie Steve Stamkos has 14 goals and 33 points in 65 games. Compare: Vincent Lecavalier managed 13 goals and 28 points in 82 games in his 1998-99 rookie season . . . Tampa Bay won two previous games against Toronto this season 3-2 on Oct. 28 and 6-4 on Feb. 12 . . . Going into the game, man games lost due to injuries totalled 258 for Tampa Bay and 159 for Toronto.

scoring summary
1st Period
03:21
TOR
Lee Stempniak (13) ASST: Jason Blake (31), Luke Schenn (6)
1 - 0 TOR
2nd Period
05:25
TBL
Matt Pettinger (4) ASST: Martins Karsums (2)
1 - 1 Tie
17:19
TBL
Martin St. Louis (25) ASST: Steven Stamkos (19), Ryan Malone (16)
2 - 1 TBL
3rd Period
14:35
TBL
PPG - Ryan Malone (24) ASST: Cory Murphy (10), Vincent Lecavalier (36)
3 - 1 TBL
17:54
TBL
Paul Szczechura (3) ASST: NONE
4 - 1 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
05:16
TBL
Evgeny Artyukhin  Holding against  Brad May
16:07
TBL
Evgeny Artyukhin  Hooking against  Nikolay Kulemin
2nd Period
06:00
TOR
Anton Stralman  Interference against  Steven Stamkos
08:11
TOR
Phil Oreskovic  Slashing against  Ryan Craig
12:18
TOR
Nikolay Kulemin  Holding against  Matt Pettinger
3rd Period
07:11
TBL
Jeff Halpern  Hi-sticking against  John Mitchell
13:06
TOR
Anton Stralman  Tripping against  Steven Stamkos
19:06
TBL
Evgeny Artyukhin  Misconduct against  Ben Ondrus
19:06
TOR
Ben Ondrus  Misconduct against  Evgeny Artyukhin
19:06
TBL
Ryan Craig  Misconduct against  Ben Ondrus
goalie stats
Karri Ramo
Karri Ramo
3-7-3
SA: 21TOI: 59:48
Saves: 20EV: 18 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .952SH: 1 - 1
Martin Gerber
SA: 30TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 16 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 10
SV%: .867SH: 1 - 1
torontomapleleafs.com is the official Web site of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club. The Maple Leafs and mapleleafs.com are trademarks of MLSE.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 MLSE and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.


Terms Of Use | Contact Us | Employment Opportunities | Advertise on mapleleafs.com | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map