for this game

Malone, St. Louis highlight early spurt by Lightning

Feb 13, 2009 - 4:58 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning got exactly what they needed - a breakout contest to keep their frustrations from boiling over.

Ryan Malone scored twice and All-Star Martin St. Louis recorded a goal and three assists as the Lightning posted a 6-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

Captain Vincent Lecavalier and veteran Mark Recchi each scored a goal and set up another and rookie Steven Stamkos also tallied for Tampa Bay, which used a four-goal first period to notch just its second win in seven contests (2-4-1).

"Tonight, we got our power play going and we scored some goals," St. Louis said. "We got some big goals in the first (period), and it's a lot easier to play with the lead. When we don't score goals and we're losing games the way we have been, we have to respond."

Lee Stempniak netted a pair of goals, Niklas Hagman recorded a tally and an assist and rookie Nikolai Kulemin also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have dropped four of five.

"We didn't get a save when we needed it," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "At the start of the game, they came at us with speed the first couple of shifts."

The Lightning had gone 1-4-1 with nine goals in their previous six games and fell, 3-1, to the lowly Atlanta Thrashers in the second game of a six-game homestand on Tuesday.

However, they took out those frustrations on goaltender Vesa Toskala early in this contest.

After Stempniak opened the scoring with nine minutes remaining in the first period, Tampa Bay netted four straight tallies in a span of 4 minutes, 13 seconds.

"We settled it down, and then after the 10-minute mark, it's 0-0," Wilson said. "You start to feel good, and then obviously getting put down on the 5-on-3 didn't help matters. But on the other hand, as the game wore on, we never gave up.

"We found a way to get back in the game, and we had two great chances at the start of the third period to tie the game, but we didn't. And then it got away from us again."

Malone forged a tie with 7 1/2 minutes left and scored again 54 seconds later, firing a wrist shot from the slot past Toskala. Recchi doubled the bulge on the power play with 4:43 remaining in the session and St. Louis capped his four-point period with a backhander 86 seconds later.

"If you play the way we did tonight, usually good things happen," St. Louis said. "I felt good tonight. I've been feeling great."

The spurt prompted Wilson to pull Toskala in favor of Curtis Joseph, who turned aside 17 of the 19 shots he faced.

"That first period by St. Louis is as good as I've seen any player in the league play," Lightning interim coach Rick Tocchet said. "He definitely willed the team to win that game."

Toronto halved the deficit with 8:28 left in the second as Stempniak scored his second goal of the night - and 10th of the season - before Hagman beat rookie netminder Mike McKenna with a wrister from the low slot 74 seconds later to draw the Maple Leafs within 4-3.

However, Stamkos netted his seventh goal of the season at 6:01 of the third and Lecavalier restored the three-goal lead with 6 1/2 minutes left.

"We've been trying to tell (Stamkos) to shoot more because he has that great shot, especially with his speed coming through the neutral zone," Malone said. "It just shows where his game is going to go. He definitely has those abilities to take his game to the next level."

Selected first overall in the 2008 draft, the 19-year-old Stamkos secured his third three-game points streak this season.

"I think every day, Stamkos is learning," Tocchet said. "He's getting stronger. His play through the neutral zone has really improved. He added that youthfulness that we needed tonight.

"I think if Steven sticks to this program and has a great summer, I believe he's going to surpass a lot of these guys. He has that talent, and the sky's the limit."

Kulemin converted a tip-in with 2:13 remaining, but Toronto was unable to get any closer.

"They're an explosive team," Stempniak said. "Their forwards are a pretty dynamic group, and I think that if you give them too many opportunities, sort of let them swarm a bit and get a lot of second and third chances, you can't do that with this group."

Making his fourth career start, McKenna made 21 saves.






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    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 6  FinalFeb 13 7:28 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 2 1 4
    TAMPA BAY 4 0 2 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - LEE STEMPNIAK 9 (UNASSISTED) 10:58
    TAM - LUKAS KRAJICEK 2 (RYAN MALONE, MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 12:30
    TAM - RYAN MALONE 17 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, VINCENT LECAVALIER)
    13:24
    TAM - (PP) MARK RECCHI 12 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, M

    Feb 12 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 4
    TAMPA BAY 6
    3RD PRD: TOR - NIKOLAI KULEMIN 9 (JAMAL MAYERS, JONAS FROGREN) 17:47

    Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 6  3rd - 2:13Feb 12 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    TAMPA BAY 6
    3RD PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 25 (JOSEF MELICHAR, CORY MURPHY)
    13:28

    Maple Leafs 3, Lightning 6  3rd - 6:32Feb 12 9:47 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    TAMPA BAY 5
    3RD PRD: TAM - (PP) STEVEN STAMKOS 7 (VACLAV PROSPAL, STEVE EMINGER)
    6:01

    Maple Leafs 3, Lightning 5  3rd - 13:59Feb 12 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 2 3
    TAMPA BAY 4 0 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - LEE STEMPNIAK 9 (UNASSISTED) 10:58
    TAM - LUKAS KRAJICEK 2 (RYAN MALONE, MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 12:30
    TAM - RYAN MALONE 17 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, VINCENT LECAVALIER)
    13:24
    TAM - (PP) MARK RECCHI 12 (VINCENT

    Feb 12 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    TAMPA BAY 4
    2ND PRD: TOR - NIKLAS HAGMAN 17 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, JEFF FINGER) 12:46

    Maple Leafs 3, Lightning 4  2nd - 7:14Feb 12 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 2
    TAMPA BAY 4
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) LEE STEMPNIAK 10 (PAVEL KUBINA, NIKLAS HAGMAN)
    11:32

    Maple Leafs 2, Lightning 4  2nd - 8:28Feb 12 8:53 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 4 4 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - LEE STEMPNIAK 9 (UNASSISTED) 10:58
    TAM - LUKAS KRAJICEK 2 (RYAN MALONE, MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 12:30
    TAM - RYAN MALONE 17 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, VINCENT LECAVALIER)
    13:24
    TAM - (PP) MARK RECCHI 12 (VINCENT

    Feb 12 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    TAMPA BAY 4
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) MARTIN ST. LOUIS 20 (MARK RECCHI, MIKE MCKENNA)
    16:43

    Maple Leafs 1, Lightning 4  1st - 3:17Feb 12 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    TAMPA BAY 3
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) MARK RECCHI 12 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 15:17

    Maple Leafs 1, Lightning 3  1st - 4:43Feb 12 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    TAMPA BAY 2
    1ST PRD: TAM - RYAN MALONE 17 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, VINCENT LECAVALIER)
    13:24

    Maple Leafs 1, Lightning 2  1st - 6:36Feb 12 8:02 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - LUKAS KRAJICEK 2 (RYAN MALONE, MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 12:30

    Maple Leafs 1, Lightning 1  1st - 7:30Feb 12 8:01 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: TOR - LEE STEMPNIAK 9 (UNASSISTED) 10:58

    Maple Leafs 1, Lightning 0  1st - 9:02Feb 12 7:58 PM