NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Tampa Bay
(Thursday, December 20th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 2, Toronto 1
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Vincent Lecavalier scored on a one-timer with 41.6 seconds left in the third period to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 win over the Maple Leafs, as the Lightning snapped a six-game skid versus Toronto.
Jason Ward also scored and Karri Ramo stopped 31 shots for his first NHL victory, as the Lightning ended a three-game slide. Lecavalier also had an assist, as Tampa Bay gained its first victory over the Maple Leafs since a 3-2 triumph in a shootout on January 31, 2006.
Matt Stajan scored and Vesa Toskala made 19 saves for the Maple Leafs, who have lost three in a row. Toronto, in the midst of a franchise record-tying seven-game road trip, failed to earn a point for just the third time in its last 10 contests.
Martin St. Louis passed the puck from above the left circle to a wide open Lecavalier at the bottom of the right circle, and his shot tucked inside the near post. Toronto's Pavel Kubina was trying to defend on the play in the right circle, but he was missing a stick, which had been broken.
Ramo, Tampa Bay's sixth-round draft pick in 2004, was playing in just his third NHL game and making his first start. He made the lead stand up by making a save on a shot from the right boards from Kubina in the closing seconds.
"I'm still kind of thinking about it," Ramo said about his first win. "It was a great game from us and there was that kind of desperation when we needed it in the third period, to win and score in the last minute."
Stajan scored with 3:24 left in the second with the help of Tampa Bay defenseman Doug Janik. Stajan sent the puck on net from the left boards, but the disc deflected off Janik's skate in front and by an out-of-position Ramo. It was Stajan's ninth goal of the season.
"We could not have played any tighter or smarter or better than that, so we will try to keep the spirits up and get to Florida (Saturday) and get a win," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "We're playing well enough to do better, but at the end of the day, that's not happening for us."
The Lightning tied the game just 2:05 later on Ward's fifth of the season. Lecavalier fed a pass from the left boards to the slot for Ward's successful high shot past Toskala. Lecavalier recorded his 30th assist of the season.
Tampa Bay is 12-5-2 at the St. Pete Times Forum this season...Both teams went 0-for-3 on the power play...Toronto plays Florida, the Islanders and Philadelphia to conclude its road trip. The last time the Maple Leafs played seven road games in a row was January 12-28, 1999.
12/20 23:10:57 ET