Tampa Bay at Toronto

Lightning beat Maple Leafs in overtime on Malone's goal


TORONTO -- Antero Niittymaki shut the Maple Leafs down, and Ryan Malone rewarded him with a win.

Malone scored at 2:21 of overtime, giving the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.

"We really met the challenge tonight," coach Rick Tocchet said. "We killed five, six penalties in a row. Guys really willed [the win] and obviously Nittymaki played unbelievable for us."

Malone tapped in an awkward shot that bounced over Jonas Gustavsson moments after John Mitchell nearly won it for the Maple Leafs on a pretty rush, with the puck nearly taking another funny hop into the goal.

Malone's goal stood up after a video review.

Niittymaki turned aside chance after chance while Vincent Lecavalier opened the scoring for the Lightning (5-4-4), who won their first road game of the season (1-4-1).

But Ian White scored a power-play goal at 5:04 of the third period for the Maple Leafs (1-7-5), who have lost four straight games in extra time and remained winless at home (0-4-2) in front of a crowd of 19,301.

The Maple Leafs wasted their first six power-play opportunities, including a two-man advantage for 49 seconds early in the second and another in the final minutes.

"We have to persevere, we can't change what we're doing because we're right there knocking on the door," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "We've just got to find a way to knock the door completely down."

One Leafs player that Niittymaki repeatedly turned aside was Phil Kessel, playing his first game for Toronto since being acquired in a September trade with Boston for two first-round picks and a second-round selection. He had been sidelined while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

The speedy 22-year-old looked strong on the puck and showed no fear going into the corners when he had to. But Kessel took a hard hit from Mattias Ohlund.

"You've got to give him a double thumbs up for taking a hit like that, a massive hit and coming back and still being a dominant player every shift," Wilson said.

In the second period, Gustavsson played a puck that might have been icing behind his goal and fired it into the neutral zone, where Ohlund picked it off.

The Swedish defenseman charged in and fired a slapshot that Gustavsson kicked right to Lecavalier, who fired the rebound into the empty net at 18:34 of the middle period for his second of the season.

It was the 12th time in 13 games the Maple Leafs surrendered the first goal.

The timing could not have been better for the Tampa Bay captain, who is off to a poor start but showed some flashes of his old brilliance with the entire Canadian Olympic team leadership in attendance.

They were in town to also take a long look at young Steven Stamkos, who has 11 goals and five assists in 13 games. Martin St. Louis would also have been on Team Canada's radar screen.

Kessel, a candidate for the U.S. Olympic team, received a loud ovation each time he touched the puck and often looked dangerous once it was on his stick.

"I had a ton of chances let me tell you," Kessel said. "I've got to find some way to get some of those to go in. First game, got to get better.

Gustavsson and Niittymaki traded saves throughout the game, keeping what could have been a high-scoring affair very tight. Gustavsson set aside 30 shots and Niittymaki 40.


  • With his fighting major, Niklas Hagman now has nine penalty minutes this season. He had four all last year.
  • Kessel, who signed a $27 million, five-year deal, after he was acquired, took Jiri Tlusty's spot in the lineup. Tlusty was returned to the AHL Marlies on Monday.
  • Forwards Jamal Mayers and Jay Rosehill and defenseman Jeff Finger were healthy scratches for the Maple Leafs, while defensemen Kurtis Foster, Matt Smaby and Paul Ranger were the Lightning's scratches.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone (right) celebrates with Victor Hedman after his winning goal in overtime.   (AP)
Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone (right) celebrates with Victor Hedman after his winning goal in overtime. (AP)
Tampa Bay  (5-4-4) «01012
Toronto (1-7-5)00101
Three Stars
A. Niittymaki

Saves: 40
Save Pct.: .976
J. Gustavsson

Saves: 30
Save Pct.: .938
P. Kessel

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
18:34Vincent Lecavalier (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Ohlund
05:04Power Play - Ian White (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Hagman, Beauchemin
02:21Ryan Malone (9), Snap Shot. Assist: Tanguay
Penalty Summary
10:14Beauchemin, 2 min, Tripping
13:20Ohlund, 2 min, Roughing
13:20Stajan, 4 min, Roughing
14:40Hagman, 5 min, Fighting
14:40Krajicek, 5 min, Fighting
14:40Krajicek, 2 min, Interference
19:37Halpern, 2 min, Hooking
48.0Hedman, 2 min, Tripping
01:56Kessel, 2 min, Hooking
09:00Hedman, 2 min, Hooking
16:22Krajicek, 2 min, Interference
19:15Walker, 2 min, Tripping
03:28Halpern, 2 min, Hooking
09:01Kulemin, 2 min, Tripping
16:05Ohlund, 2 min, Boarding
Shots On Goal
Tampa Bay1110930
Antero Niittymaki 62:21401
Jonas Gustavsson 61:56302
Game Information
Attendance - 19301
Referees - Dean Morton, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Mike Cvik, Ryan Galloway
Other Games
Bos 0 Final
Det 2
Atl 5 Final
Mon 4
NYR 1 Final
Van 4
Pitt 4 Final
Ana 3