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