Lightning beat Maple Leafs 6-4

Preview | Box Score | Recap

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Martin St. Louis had the touch.

Nearly everything the 5-foot-9 All-Star forward got a stick on resulted in a goal in the Tampa Bay Lightning’ 6-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier scored third-period goals, but St. Louis was everywhere during a flurry of goals in the first that gave the Lightning a 4-1 lead.

The Lightning scored four times in a 4:13 span of the first, the second-fastest four goals scored in franchise history. St. Louis assisted on the first three and scored the fourth on a power play with a backhander over Vesa Toskala’s shoulder.

“I just felt good tonight,” said St. Louis, who has 20 goals and a team-high 54 points. “Tonight, everthing I touched early on, something happened. You build off that and you get confident and you get arrogant in your play.”

Ryan Malone scored twice a 54-second span in the first, and Mark Recchi also scored.

“Marty definietely had a different gear than everybody out there,” Malone said. “He was buzzing.”

Stamkos, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft last summer, scored on a power play to give Tampa Bay a 5-3 lead at 6:01 of the third. He has seven goals.

Lecavalier added his team-high 25th goal with 6:32 left.

“I think every day (Stamkos) is learning,” Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. “He added that youthfulness that we needed tonight.”

Toskala was pulled after giving up four goals on 12 shots. He was replaced by Curtis Joseph, seeing action in just his 12th game of the season.

“I couldn’t make the saves we need to keep us in the game,” Toskala said.

For Stamkos, scoring a goal on Joseph is a highlight early in his career.

“I grew up watching the Leafs and idolizing them,” the 19-year-old Markham, Ontario, player said. “He was a big part of their great teams. … It was pretty cool to get one by him.”

Lee Stempniak scored twice for Toronto, and Niklas Hagman and Nikolai Kulemin added goals.

Toronto cut it to 4-3 in the second. Stempniak scored his second goal of the game at 11:32 on a power play, and Hagman added his 17th goal 1:14 later.

“We’re scoring four or five goals and that’s not enough to get two points, let alone one” Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said.

Mike McKenna had 19 saves for Tampa Bay, and Joseph stopped 17 shots.

“That’s what I do (play relief goalie) and I want to play in this league,” Joseph said. “It’s a great job, obviously, and to be part of the Maple Leafs is what I wanted to do again.”

Notes

The Lightning recalled defenseman Josef Melichar from Norfolk. … Maple Leafs center Paul Szczechura was put on injured reserve Thursday because of an unspecified lower-body injury. … Malone required five stitches on the bridge of his nose near his left eye after taking a stick to the face in the first. The stitches were put in before his two goals.

Related Articles

Three Stars

  Three Stars
M. St. Louis
Martin St. Louis
Lightning - RW
Goals: 1
Assists: 3
S. Stamkos
Steven Stamkos
Lightning - C
Goals: 1
Assists: 0
R. Malone
Ryan Malone
Lightning - LW
Goals: 2
Assists: 0

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Curtis Joseph Tor 19 17
Vesa Toskala Cgy 12 8

Scoreboard

Thursday, Feb 12