Game 25: Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs
There was both good and bad in this game, with the Tampa Bay Lightning trying to break a two game losing streak and the streaking Atlanta Thrashers only two points behind them in the Southeast Division standings. Missing their captain with hand surgery, the Lightning just depended on their "hockey god", Marty St. Louis to lead the Bolts to a 4-3 OT win in Toronto.
Simon Gagne played in this game, after missing the previous 18 games with neck issues. He collected an assist on the goal by Ryan Malone in the second period, Gagne's first point (in a real game) as a member of the Lightning.
Tampa outshot the Leafs 17-7 in the first period but trailed after one, 1-0 on a goal by Kris Versteeg. Dan Ellis left a big rebound that was eventually corralled by Kris Versteeg; Ellis also had to contend with one of his own players falling into him as Versteeg scored.
More of the recap after the jump
As a matter of fact, two of the three Leafs goals were scored on goofy rebounds. Ellis did give up some big rebounds in this game, but also made some huge saves; in the second and third periods both Ellis and Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson made several "ten bell" saves to keep both teams from scoring many more times. Each team scored a goal in the second period, Ryan Malone for Tampa and Nikolai Kulemin for Toronto, to end the period 2-1 in the Leafs favor.
In the third, just after the Maple Leafs took a 3-1 lead, scoring for the Lightning was Marty St. Louis, 62 seconds after Nikolai Kulemin scored his second goal of the night for Toronto. After the St. Louis goal, the Lightning's intensity seemed to pick up, but they still trailed 3-2 going into the final seconds of the game.
And with 8.7 seconds left in the third, Marty St. Louis became the hero (again) by scoring to tie the game and send it to overtime after a crucial faceoff win by Dominic Moore, who collected an assist along with Steven Stamkos.
The overtime didn't take long at all, with Simon Gagne getting his first goal (in a real game) as a member of the Lightning 1:14 into OT to seal the win over the Leafs.
Marty St. Louis led the Lightning players with 24 minutes of ice time with Steven Stamkos playing 23:17. Gagne had 12:55 ice time in his return along with the goal, assist and an important screen in front of Gustavsson for Marty's late game tying heroics. The Lighting outshot the Maple Leafs 39-25 for the game.
Next game is Thursday night, December 2 against the Boston Bruins at the TD Bank North Gardens.
Lightning vs Maple Leafs recap [TSN]
Lightning vs Maple Leafs boxscore [TSN]
Lightning vs Maple Leafs coverage [SB Nation]
Pension Plan Puppets [SB Nation]