Game 15: Tampa Bay Lightning versus Toronto Maple Leafs

The Tampa Bay Lightning build on their win in Sunrise over the weekend with a 4-2 defeat of the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 4-2 in front of a sellout crowd of 19,204 Tuesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

In case you're having trouble keeping track of all the streaks the Tampa Bay Lightning have going on, they snapped one (home losing at three games) and built another (overall wins at two) against a Toronto team that has been playing very well of late.

"To me, it's more about the process and the habits that we're trying to create in previous games.. Throughout our losing streak it was never about the result; it was about how we were going to continue progressing. We were doing so many good things, we knew it was eventually going to pay off." - Lightning head coach Guy Boucher

Vincent Lecavalier opened things up at 9:25 of the first, scoring on a wrist shot with help from Benoit Pouliot and Martin St. Louis. It was the first goal given up by Toronto goalie Ben Scrivens after posting back-to-back shutouts in his previous two starts.

Toronto tied the score at 17:59 when Mikhail Grabovski beat Lightning netminder Anders Lindback on a rebound. Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur provided assists.

The period ended with the score knotted at one.

The Lightning broke the tie when Steven Stamkos scored at the 4:56 mark on assists from Cory Conacher and Pouliot.

The teams exchanged power play opportunities without cashing in and the Lightning carried the 2-1 lead into the second intermission.

At 2:49 of the third, Alex Killorn launched a puck from along the left boards that somehow managed to trickle past Scrivens. B.J. Crombeen provided the assist.

The third period saw most of the game's penalty activity, highlighted by two fights (the second and third of the game). The Lightning notched the only power play goal of the game at 6:58 when Matt Carle scored with helpers from Pouliot and Victor Hedman.

That goal was scored on the Lightning's 13th shot of the game and it would be the last one seen on the night by Scrivens, who was lifted in favor of Jussi Rynnas.

"It seems like I was getting some fortunate bounces in the last couple games but today they bounced the other way. It's the nature of the game, those are the breaks." - Toronto goalie Ben Scrivens

The Maple Leafs' James Van Riemsdyk cut the lead in half at 16:08, just after a power play expired, thanks to assists from Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak.

The last five minutes of the game found the Lightning scrambling to hold off Toronto, including full-length shots at the empty net in the last two minutes that barely missed.

For the game, the Lightning managed only 19 shots on goal, with nine of them coming in the third period.

"I'm looking at scoring chances against and we gave up nothing in the second period. Zero. That's what I am looking at. The rest, I could care less." - Boucher

"We had a pretty solid game. That first period probably wasn't our best but we still played hard and we had, over all, a really good game." - Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier

The Lightning will be in action again on Thursday night when they host the Boston Bruins.

Game notes:

  • Stat of the night? The Lightning staved off a four game home losing streak. They haven't lost four in a row at the Forum since March of 2010.
  • Scrivens' shutout streak ends at of 154:16, over four games.
  • Toronto came into tonight's game with a 7-2-0 road record, their best start to a season on the road since the 1940-41 season, when they were also 7-2-0.
  • The Bolts were winless against Toronto last season, going 0-3-1 and -2 at home.
  • With three assists tonight, Benoit Pouliot now has 12 points (four goals and eight assists in his last 10 games.
  • The Lightning are now 5-0 when leading after two periods.
  • The Bolts' shooting percentage is a league-leading 15%.
  • The Lightning honored Thomas Atchison as the 24th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period. Atchison, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to New Beginnings. Atchison lost his parents at a young age, and facing adversity later on as he went through life, he decided to help those in need. He was drawn to the needs of United States war veterans, the homeless and underprivileged, so Atchison founded ‘New Beginnings,' an organization that provides transitional housing and a homeless recovery program. The program serves up to approximately 150 people and supplies immediate necessities such as shelter, food and clothing for participants that have experienced mental or emotional issues, substance abuse, marital problems, and probation or unemployment. Working tirelessly to assist others for the past 15 years, Atchison truly helps many that are in distress, often working seven days a week to ensure those less fortunate have a chance to function daily. Tonight's hero even uses his own personal money to help fund some of his initiatives to help people land on their feet. Atchison also serves on the Board of Directors for "Mission Tampa" and was instrumental in the opening of a dental clinic for the less fortunate.