TAMPA, Fla. – A careless penalty helped cost the Toronto Maple Leafs another road game.
Martin St. Louis scored a power-play goal with 9.8 seconds left in overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 comeback victory over Toronto on Thursday night. After the Maple Leafs received a penalty for too many men on the ice with 43.1 seconds left, St. Louis scored the winner from the top of the left circle.
“We should have been more disciplined,” Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. “We weren’t and we lose because of it.”
Ian White and Matt Stajan scored for Toronto, which is 2-11 in its last 13 road games.
Tampa Bay also got goals from Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone. Stamkos added two assists.
“We responded,” said Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet, whose team was coming off an 8-2 loss Tuesday to the New York Rangers. “Marty, a great goal for us. Confidence wise for our team, we definitely needed it.”
After Stajan scored from the right circle during a power play to give Toronto a 2-1 advantage at 9:08 of the third, Malone pulled the Lightning even at 2 with a rebound power-play goal with 3:49 to play.
“It’s a tough break and a tough way to lose,” Stajan said. “We worked hard to get a lead and we just can’t make mental mistakes. We can’t take penalties.”
The Maple Leafs are 1-10 this season in games decided in overtime or a shootout. They are 0-8 when the game ends during OT.
“It’s ridiculous, actually. It’s just one after the other,” White said.
White put the Maple Leafs up 1-0 with a power-play goal at 7:05 of the second. Phil Kessel extended his point streak to seven games (seven assists, eight points) with an assist on the goal.
Tampa Bay tied it at 1 when Stamkos scored his 26th goal this season with 8:14 left in the second. Vincent Lecavalier set up the goal – the first of three assists in the game – and has seven assists and 10 points during a six-game point streak.
The Lightning failed to score on a 2-minute, 5-on-3 power play late in the first, but wound up 2 of 7 with the man advantage. Toronto entered with the NHL’s worst penalty killing unit.
“I guess we redeemed ourselves,” Lecavalier said. “It could have gone either way. We capitalized on our (later) opportunities.”
The Maple Leafs were successful on 2 of 6 power plays.
Toronto defenceman Carl Gunnarsson picked up his fifth assist this season on White’s goal. He has four assists in two games against Tampa Bay.
White ended an 11-game goal drought.
NOTES: Struggling Tampa Bay rookie D Victor Hedman was a healthy scratch. … Toronto C Wayne Primeau (knee) played after missing the previous nine games. … The Lightning claimed C Nate Thompson off waivers from the New York Islanders and assigned rookie C James Wright to Vancouver of the Western Hockey League. … Lightning G Mike Smith (strained neck) has resumed practicing. … Maple Leafs D Mike Komisarek (shoulder) might return next week.