NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Toronto
(Saturday, November 5th)
Final Score: Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 3
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Mats Sundin, playing for the first time since suffering a fractured orbital bone on opening night, had a goal and an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-3, at Air Canada Centre.
Jeff O'Neill also had a goal and an assist and Ed Belfour made 33 saves for the Maple Leafs, who have won two of their last three games.
Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and an assist and John Grahame made 21 saves for the Lightning, who have lost three straight.
Toronto opened the scoring midway through the first period on a power-play goal by O'Neill. With Cory Sarich in the box for interference, Sundin threw a centering pass out front from behind the net to O'Neill and he jammed the puck between Grahame's pads for a 1-0 lead.
The Maple Leafs added another power-play goal with 28 seconds left in the first period. A Tampa Bay player was laying on the puck and Eric Lindros dug it out and flicked it over to Darcy Tucker, who shot it into the open net for his sixth goal of the season.
Tampa Bay got on the board 3:52 into the second period. A scramble behind the net resulted in Nick Tarnasky getting the disc and popping it up out front to Evgeny Artyukhin, who put it past Belfour for his first goal of the season.
A Lightning turnover led to the Maple Leafs' third goal. A Lightning defenseman attempted to clear the puck on a backhand but missed and O'Neill picked up the puck and got it to Sundin, who was cutting down the left side. His one-timer went into the left corner of the net to make the score 3-1.
"He (Sundin) is a just a dynamic player. Every time he touches the puck he does something special," said O'Neill. "I'm glad I don't have to chase him around anymore. With the new rules in the NHL he is more dangerous down low than ever before because he can get the puck to anybody."
With 2:46 to play in the second period Toronto made it 4-1 after another Tampa Bay turnover. Matt Stajan deflected a clearing attempt and the puck wound up on the stick of Alexander Steen. His wrist shot nicked off a Tampa Bay player and into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
The Lightning cut the score to 4-2 quickly in the third period. A slap shot from the right point by Lecavalier was stopped by Belfour, but the rebound popped out to Dan Boyle, who shot it past a sprawled Belfour just 54 seconds into the final stanza.
Tampa Bay made it a one goal game during a 5-on-3 power play. Martin St. Louis threw the puck in front of the goal mouth from the left boards and Lecavalier deflected it into the net with 10:59 left in the third period.
The Lightning kept up the pressure, outshooting the Leafs 17-1 at one point, but Darryl Sydor took a four minute high-sticking penalty with 3:13 left to play.
Chad Kilger added an empty-net goal to seal the victory.
Sundin has 51 points (25g, 26a) in 37 games against Tampa Bay...Toronto is 10-2-1 in its last 13 games against Tampa Bay...Four of O'Neill's five goals have been on the power play...All-time Toronto is 30-10-2 against Tampa Bay...The Leafs have scored power-play goals in 12 of 14 games...Tampa Bay left wing Fredrik Modin played his 600th NHL game. His first 217 games were with Toronto.
11/05 22:44:51 ET