for this game

Maple Leafs end seven-game skid with rare offensive explosion

Dec 13, 2006 - 3:20 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Chad Kilger and the Toronto Maple Leafs didn't have trouble scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Maple Leafs scored four unanswered goals, including third-period tallies by Darcy Tucker and Jeff O'Neill, to snap a seven-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Lightning.

Kilger started the comeback with two tallies in the second period for Toronto, which last lost eight straight games during the 1995-96 campaign.

"It's bad enough to lose seven in a row, but when you come home and give up a goal in the first minute of the second period and go down, 3-1, it can really make life difficult on yourself," Toronto center Michael Peca said.

Andrew Raycroft added a spark for Toronto by stopping 17-of-18 shots after replacing Jon-Sebastien Aubin mid-way through the second period.

"It's nice to give up a bad goal and get a win," Raycroft said. "Obviously, I didn't have to do a whole lot, but it's still nice to get the win."

The Maple Leafs had scored just nine goals during the losing streak and were trailing, 3-1, in the second period before the offense finally started to show some signs of life while taking advantage of several Lightning miscues.

"I thought the second half of that second period was probably the most sloppiest, irresponsible period we've played," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "No excuse how sloppy we were within that second period. Giving up a 2-on-0 on the power play, turning the puck over with lateral passes instead of just going straight ahead and playing north-south.

"I'm not taking anything away from Toronto but we made some just sloppy mistakes and that cost us the game."

Kilger scored off a rebound from Tucker with 7:05 left in the session before adding his sixth of the season with 30 seconds left to tie the score at 3-3.

"They were pretty easy tap-ins for me," Kilger said. "On the first goal, Mike (Peca) made a great play to Darcy and Darcy took a great shot and the rebound was just sitting at the net and I think I had to push it an inch.

"It was pretty much the same thing on the second goal. (Pavel Kubina) made a great play to break us out. I just drove the net and tried to stay wide and give (Peca) an option to make a hard pass and I just dragged it in."

Tucker scored his league-tying 15th power-play goal and 18th overall off a deflected shot from the right circle by Mats Sundin at 16:23 of the third stanza. O'Neill then rammed home a rebound past goaltender Johan Holmqvist into an open net off a shot from the right point by Bates Battaglia with 9:05 left.

"Sometimes when you're trying too hard and you try to do a little extra you sometimes do it less," Sundin said. "Even though we were down we kept plugging away and stuck to our game plan. It's big win. Anytime you're on a losing streak it's a tough time for everybody.

"Sometimes when you are on a losing streak it really pulls the team together. Hopefully we can use this (win) in a positive way. Even though we were down two goals it's nice to come back and get the win."

The Lightning scored a power-play goal to get within 5-4 on Martin St. Louis' 18th goal with 3:44 remaining in the game but could not score the equalizer.

Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and two assists for Tampa Bay, which has lost six of its last seven.

"You have 20 guys right that are very frustrated right now," St. Louis said. "We're just not reacting well to momentum swings right now and it's costing us games."

Taking advantage of the man advantage, the Maple Leafs got on the board first with Alexei Ponikarovsky's ninth goal of the season beat goaltender Jon-Sebastien Aubin at 3:28 before Nikita Alexeev and Lecavalier tallied to close the period.

Toronto was 2-for-4 on the power play, while Tampa Bay converted just 1-of-5.

Brad Richards' 12th goal on a one-timer after Toronto's Bryan McCabe turned over the puck in his own zone increased Tampa Bay's lead to 3-1.

"Obviously when you're up 3-1 and the other team scores two goals, especially one with 30 seconds left in the second period, it takes a lot of momentum out of you and it goes in their favor," Lightning center Tim Taylor said. "That early power-play goal in the third period really hurt us."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 2 1 1 4
    TORONTO 1 2 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 9 (TOMAS KABERLE, BRYAN
    MCCABE) 3:28
    TAM - NIKITA ALEXEEV 9 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, FILIP KUBA) 7:32
    TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 18 (DAN BOYLE, FILIP KUBA)
    12:29
    2ND PRD: TAM - BRAD RIC

    Dec 12 10:10 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 4
    TORONTO 5
    3RD PRD: TAM - (PP) MARTIN ST. LOUIS 18 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, DAN
    BOYLE) 16:16

    Lightning vs. Maple LeafsDec 12 10:02 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    TORONTO 5
    3RD PRD: TOR - JEFF O'NEILL 9 (BATES BATTAGLIA, IAN WHITE) 10:55

    Lightning vs. Maple LeafsDec 12 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    TORONTO 4 15:15 LEFT, 3RD PRD

    Lightning vs. Maple LeafsDec 12 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 2 1 3
    TORONTO 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 9 (TOMAS KABERLE, BRYAN
    MCCABE) 3:28
    TAM - NIKITA ALEXEEV 9 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, FILIP KUBA) 7:32
    TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 18 (DAN BOYLE, FILIP KUBA)
    12:29
    2ND PRD: T

    Dec 12 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 2 1 3
    TORONTO 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 9 (TOMAS KABERLE, BRYAN
    MCCABE) 3:28
    TAM - NIKITA ALEXEEV 9 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, FILIP KUBA) 7:32
    TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 18 (DAN BOYLE, FILIP KUBA)
    12:29
    2ND PRD: T

    Lightning vs. Maple LeafsDec 12 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: TOR - CHAD KILGER 5 (DARCY TUCKER, MICHAEL PECA) 12:55

    Lightning vs. Maple LeafsDec 12 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    TORONTO 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - BRAD RICHARDS 12 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 0:24

    Lightning vs. Maple LeafsDec 12 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 2 2
    TORONTO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 9 (TOMAS KABERLE, BRYAN
    MCCABE) 3:28
    TAM - NIKITA ALEXEEV 9 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, FILIP KUBA) 7:32
    TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 18 (DAN BOYLE, FILIP KUBA)
    12:29
    SHOTS ON G

    Dec 12 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 18 (DAN BOYLE, FILIP KUBA)
    12:29

    Lightning vs. Maple LeafsDec 12 8:05 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - NIKITA ALEXEEV 9 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, FILIP KUBA) 7:32

    Lightning vs. Maple LeafsDec 12 7:53 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 9 (TOMAS KABERLE, BRYAN
    MCCABE) 3:28

    Lightning vs. Maple LeafsDec 12 7:48 PM