for this game

Lecavalier sparks Lightning in win over Maple Leafs

Oct 29, 2008 - 3:34 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning received a jolt of momentum from their captain when they desperately needed it.

Vincent Lecavalier netted a pair of goals as the Lightning showed signs of life during a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

"It was definitely our best game by far," Lecavalier said. "We were buzzing in their zone, we were on the puck, we made them give turnovers and we had some opportunities. We got the win that was the most important thing."

Jussi Jokinen also scored for Tampa Bay (2-3-3), which earned its second win in eight contests. The top overall pick in June's draft, Steven Stamkos registered his first career point when he set up Lecavalier's second tally with the man advantage.

"We haven't won too many games this year. It was a solid road game where we got two big points," Jokinen said. "It's good to build on that."

Jokinen was also pleased to have scored his first goal of the season.

"I've been playing a pretty defensive role," Jokinen said. "The last few games, I've been getting some more ice time on the power play. It's good to get the first one out of the way and build on that."

Still looking for his first career goal, Stamkos has yet to record a significant amount of ice time. First-year Lightning coach Barry Melrose has given his prized prospect an increase over the past few games, though, and Stamkos logged 12:58 in this one. The 18-year-old ranked 46th among NHL rookies before Wednesday with an average ice time of 11:10.

The Lightning entered as the last ranked team in offense, but found a way to get on the board early thanks to Jokinen's wrist shot which beat Vesa Toskala five minutes into the first period.

Matt Stajan forged a tie with the man advantage 2 1/2 minutes later, but Lecavalier tallied to give Tampa Bay a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

"I thought we skated well, but at the same time we were trading chances a bit... and we would have liked to get a few more bodies in front when we were shooting the puck," Stajan said. "(Tampa Bay goaltender Mike Smith) was stopping everything he could see. He's a big guy in there and he handles the puck as good as anybody.

"We would have liked to get a few more guys in front and create more chances, but we didn't do that enough and couldn't get that tying goal late."

A 40-goal scorer last season, Lecavalier took a cross-ice pass from Vaclav Prospal and beat defenseman Tomas Kaberle to create a breakaway before snapping a wrist shot past Toskala with 4:23 left in the session.

"We had plenty of opportunities," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "A guy like that (Lecavalier) buries them. He's one of the top players in the league. You give him plenty of opportunities, he's going to score one. You give him three opportunities, he might score two. Some of our guys need five opportunities to score one."

Toronto's Jamal Mayers was whistled for hooking and five seconds later, Lecavalier converted passes from Prospal and Stamkos to extended the Lightning's lead to 3-1 just 4:08 into the third period.

"I like the way we played in the third period," Melrose said. "We knew Toronto was going to come and our guys weathered the storm pretty well. I thought the big line was excellent and I thought that was their best game of the season."

Prospal had two assists to help support Smith, who made 37 saves and even notched an assist - becoming the fifth goalie this season to pick up a point.

"Me and (Prospal) have been playing together for a long time together and he knew what I was doing, just kind of flying the zone," Lecavalier said. "I knew he could find me."

Defenseman Mike Van Ryn also tallied for the Maple Leafs, who fell to 19-8-1 all-time at home against the Lightning. He took a pass from Mikhail Grabovski from the right side of the net and flipped a wrister past Smith to cut Toronto's deficit to 3-2 with 6:45 remaining in the second.

The Maple Leafs outshot the Lightning, 39-25, overall and by a 13-5 margin in the third.

"That was a game we should have (won since) we outshot them," Stajan said. "The bottom line is we didn't play a full 60 minutes."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 2 1 0 3
    TORONTO 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - JUSSI JOKINEN 1 (MARK RECCHI, MIKE LUNDIN) 5:08
    TOR - (PP) MATT STAJAN 1 (NIK ANTROPOV, ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY)
    7:34
    TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 4 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MIKE SMITH)
    15:37
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVA

    Oct 28 10:11 PM
  • 63
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Lightning 3, Maple Leafs 2  3rd - 1:17Oct 28 10:09 PM
  • 46
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Lightning 3, Maple Leafs 2  End of 2ndOct 28 9:26 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 2 1 3
    TORONTO 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - JUSSI JOKINEN 1 (MARK RECCHI, MIKE LUNDIN) 5:08
    TOR - (PP) MATT STAJAN 1 (NIK ANTROPOV, ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY)
    7:34
    TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 4 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MIKE SMITH)
    15:37
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) V

    Oct 28 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) MIKE VAN RYN 2 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, NIKLAS HAGMAN)
    13:15

    Lightning 3, Maple Leafs 2  2nd - 6:45Oct 28 9:06 PM
  • 41
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 36 roots

    Lightning 3, Maple Leafs 1  2nd - 7:04Oct 28 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    TORONTO 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 5 (VACLAV PROSPAL, STEVEN
    STAMKOS) 4:08

    Lightning 3, Maple Leafs 1  2nd - 15:52Oct 28 8:48 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: TAM - JUSSI JOKINEN 1 (MARK RECCHI, MIKE LUNDIN) 5:08
    TOR - (PP) MATT STAJAN 1 (NIK ANTROPOV, ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY)
    7:34
    TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 4 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MIKE SMITH)
    15:37
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Oct 28 8:23 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 4 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MIKE SMITH) 15:37

    Lightning 2, Maple Leafs 1  1st - 4:23Oct 28 8:19 PM
  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Lightning 1, Maple Leafs 1  1st - 6:58Oct 28 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) MATT STAJAN 1 (NIK ANTROPOV, ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY)
    7:34

    Lightning 1, Maple Leafs 1  1st - 12:26Oct 28 7:59 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: TAM - JUSSI JOKINEN 1 (MARK RECCHI, MIKE LUNDIN) 5:08

    Lightning 1, Maple Leafs 0  1st - 14:52Oct 28 7:51 PM