Lecavalier strikes twice for Lightning in 3-2 win

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TORONTO (AP)—Vincent Lecavalier scored a pair of highlight-reel goals and Mike Smith made 37 saves to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.

Jussi Jokinen also scored, and No. 1 overall draft pick Steven Stamkos earned his first NHL point for the Lightning (2-3-3).

Matt Stajan and Mike Van Ryn scored for the Maple Leafs (3-3-3), who played well but had their two-game winning streak end.

Lecavalier put the Lightning up 2-1 at 15:37 of the first period. Skating through the neutral zone, he dragged his leg at the Leafs blue line to allow Vaclav Prospal’s breakaway pass to slide past him into the zone onside. Lecavalier cut in on goalie Vesa Toskala and tucked in an against-stride, one-handed backhander.

Lecavalier stretched Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-1 at 4:08 of the second when he took a pass from Prospal in the slot and made a move before beating Toskala high during a power play. Stamkos, who was a Leafs fan growing up in Ontario, earned the second assist.

The Maple Leafs scored on a power play at 13:15 when Van Ryn flipped a shot over a prone Smith to make it 3-2.

Smith made a terrific stop on Alexei Ponikarovsky with five minutes to go and another on John Mitchell with two minutes left. He stopped 13 shots in the third period.

The Lightning led 2-1 after a first period in which both teams squandered long two-man advantages.

Jokinen opened the scoring at 5:08, depositing a pretty cross-ice pass from Mark Recchi into an empty net.

Stajan tied it 1-1 at 7:34 with his first of the season by tipping Nik Antropov’s centering pass up in the air and past Smith on a dribble.


Smith earned an assist on Lecavalier’s first-period goal, becoming the fifth goalie this season to pick up a point. … Luke Schenn, chosen four spots after Stamkos in this year’s draft, played his first game since being told that he’d stay with the Maple Leafs rather than return to his junior team, Kelowna of the Western Hockey League. He’s the Maple Leafs’ first 18-year-old player since Drake Berehowsky in 1990. … Toronto D Jonas Frogren, scratched Saturday to make room for Jeff Finger, was out of the lineup again along with Ian White and Carlo Colaiacovo.

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Three Stars

  Three Stars
V. Lecavalier
Vincent Lecavalier
Lightning - C
Goals: 2
Assists: 0
M. Grabovski
Mikhail Grabovski
Maple Leafs - C
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
M. Smith
Mike Smith
Lightning - G
Saves: 37
Save Pct.: .949


Goalie Team Shot Save
Vesa Toskala Cgy 25 22


Tuesday, Oct 28