Leafs edge Lightning on van Riemsdyk's late tally
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - James van Riemsdyk recorded the tie-breaking goal with 4:03 remaining as the Toronto Maple Leafs posted a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Air Canada Centre.
Van Riemsdyk's tally halted Toronto's two-game skid and came after the Lightning scored twice late in the second period to rally from a 2-0 deficit created by a pair of Nazem Kadri markers.
Jonathan Bernier did his part as well between the pipes, turning back 40 shots that included all 13 he faced during the final period.
Matt Carle and Mark Barberio had the goals for Tampa Bay, with Ondrej Palat assisting on both scores. Ben Bishop finished with 23 saves.
The deciding goal was set up by a takeaway in the Tampa Bay zone by Tyler Bozak, who worked the puck out to Phil Kessel as van Riemsdyk skated hard into the right slot. Kessel promptly found his open linemate for a quick wrister that Bishop had little chance to defend.
"Bozie did a great job on the forecheck and forcing their [defense] to make a play under pressure, and Phil slid [the puck] over to me and put it on a platter for me," said van Riemsdyk of the goal.
Bernier made the lead stand with a sprawling glove save on Martin St. Louis less than a minute after van Riemsdyk's goal, the Lightning's best chance in the latter stages.
"I read it good," said Bernier. "[St. Louis] made that pass on that first one [earlier in the game]. He did the same kind of move, but then he shot it and I got caught deep. That one worked out for me."
Following a scoreless opening period that saw sharp goaltending on both sides, Kadri ended the stalemate early in the second. Using Lightning defender Victor Hedman as a screen, the Toronto center rifled a wrister over Bishop's right shoulder with just 1:49 elapsed in the frame.
Kadri struck again near the midway mark of the middle session, collecting a centering pass from Joffrey Lupul and beating Bishop 1-on-1 with a well-placed backhander for a 2-0 Maple Leafs' advantage.
A defensive turnover by Toronto enabled Tampa Bay to cut the lead in half with 6:47 to go in the second, with Carle jumping into the zone to put home a no- look drop pass from Palat.
"It was a broken play," Carle said. "Palat made a great pass and I was right in the slot, so I took a shot and it went in."
Barberio potted the equalizer just under four minutes afterward, with the goal coming off a rebound of Palat's initial attempt with the defenseman stationed in the right slot.
St. Louis had a 10-game point streak snapped ... Kadri's multi-goal effort was his second of the season, matching a two-score performance against Dallas on Dec. 5 ... Bernier is now 7-1-2 this season when facing 40 shots or more ... The Lightning have lost in four straight visits to the Air Canada Centre, with their last victory in Toronto coming on Mar. 14, 2011.
01/28 23:24:04 ET