Toronto at Tampa Bay

Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 3


TAMPA, Fla. -- A strong defensive third period helped the Toronto Maple Leafs get a rare victory.

Niklas Hagman had two goals, and Matt Stajan scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period to lead the Maple Leafs past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson made 28 saves, including six in a scoreless third.

"The whole third period, I think, that was the best play we've shown so far this season when we've had the lead," Gustavsson said. "We took total control of the game."

Nikolai Kulemin also scored to help the Maple Leafs improve to 5-11-7. Rookie defenseman Carl Gunnarsson had three assists in his sixth career NHL game.

"It feels like we're getting our legs under us a little bit better," Hagman said. "We're creating more chances."

Tampa Bay got goals from Andrej Meszaros, Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone. The Lightning, 5-1-4 at home, were the last Eastern Conference team without a home loss in regulation.

"Coming back from the road trip I knew it was going to be a grind for us," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "I think a couple guys looked tired, but we hung in there. We weren't mentally sharp."

Tampa Bay returned home after a 2-1-1 road trip.

Stajan gave Toronto a 4-3 lead with a second-period breakaway goal with 1:47 remaining. Gunnarsson set up the goal with a long pass.

"I didn't really see him," Gunnarsson said. "I just tried to get the puck out of our zone because there was like two or three guys on my side. Kind of lucky."

The Maple Leafs took a 3-2 advantage 1:20 into the second on Hagman's second goal of the game. Malone got the Lightning even at 3 on his 15th goal this season at 7:51.

After falling behind 2-0 early on, Tampa Bay tied it at 2 on goals by Meszaros and Lecavalier coming 30 seconds apart late in the first. Meszaros scored from the right circle at 14:14 on a power play before Lecavalier's rebound goal with 5:16 to go in the period.

Kulemin put Toronto ahead 1-0 at 6:45 of the first. It was only the fourth time this season the Maple Leafs scored the game's first goal.

Hagman made it 2-0 with 8:06 left in the first.

Gustavsson came up big 36 seconds into the game by stopping a shot by Martin St. Louis, who had skated into the slot all alone.

"We got some good bounces and we finished the way we should," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said.


Hagman has a goal in three consecutive games. ... Tampa Bay recalled D Mike Lundin from Norfolk of the AHL. ... Toronto C Wayne Primeau picked up his first assist in 30 games -- dating to Nov. 1, 2008 -- on Kulemin's goal. ... Lightning D Mattias Ohlund (ankle) missed his fifth consecutive game, but could be back in the lineup soon. ... Toronto has held the lead four times at the end of the second period this season. ... Lightning C Steven Stamkos had two assists.

Copyright 2018 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.
Toronto  (5-11-7) «2204
Tampa Bay (9-6-7)2103
Three Stars
M. Stajan

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
C. Gunnarsson

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
S. Stamkos

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

December 10, 2017
NHL Power Rankings (12/10) (0:56)
October 16, 2017
NHL Power Rankings (Week of 10/16)
September 7, 2017
2017-18 NHL preview: Toronto Maple Leafs
April 9, 2017
2017 NHL Playoff Picture
Scoring Summary
06:45Nikolai Kulemin (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Gunnarsson, Primeau
11:54Niklas Hagman (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Beauchemin, Gunnarsson
14:14Power Play - Andrej Meszaros (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Downie, Stamkos
14:44Vincent Lecavalier (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Halpern, Tanguay
01:20Niklas Hagman (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Grabovski, Exelby
07:51Ryan Malone (14), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stamkos, St. Louis
18:13Matt Stajan (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Gunnarsson
Penalty Summary
07:00Downie, 2 min, Charging
13:28White, 2 min, Tripping
15:04Hanson, 2 min, Roughing
15:43Hedman, 2 min, Tripping
07:57Tanguay, 2 min, Tripping
09:21Kulemin, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
Tampa Bay1411631
Jonas Gustavsson60:00283
Antero Niittymaki58:55314
Game Information
Attendance - 15333
Referees - Dan Marouelli, Rob Martell
Linesmen - Pierre Champoux, Jonny Murray
Other Games
Bos 2 Final
Min 1
Chi 7 Final
SJ 2
NYR 2 Final
Fla 1
Phi 2 Final
Pho 1 Final
Cal 2
Mon 1 Final
Pitt 3
Nash 4 Final
Colo 3
Ott 1 Final
NJ 3
Atl 2 Final
Det 0
LA 3 Final
Edm 1
Buf 0 Final
Wash 2
StL 4 Final
Dal 3
Car 2 Final
Ana 3