NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Toronto
(Thursday, March 11th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT)
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Phil Kessel scored 3:33 into overtime to give Toronto a 4-3 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Viktor Stalberg had a pair of goals, while Tyler Bozak also found the net for the Maple Leafs, who gained their second straight 4-3 overtime victory, also winning at home against Boston on Tuesday. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 30 saves for Toronto.
"Young guys are stepping up here at the end of the year," Kessel said. "We're playing for each other, working hard out there."
Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist, stretching his amazing points streak to a franchise-record 18 games and his goal string to seven contests, but the Lightning lost for the seventh time in eight tries. Kurtis Foster and Steve Downie also lit the lamp for Tampa Bay, which at 66 points is six behind Boston and Montreal, who are tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference. Mike Smith stopped 34 shots in defeat.
"There's a lot of young guys that are fighting for jobs in the next upcoming season," Stamkos said. "They worked hard and wanted it a little more."
Vincent Lecavalier failed on a breakaway chance halfway through overtime, and a turnover allowed the Maple Leafs to win the game following an odd-man rush. Bozak stole the puck in his own end and raced the other way on a 2-on-1. He backhanded the puck from the left circle to in front, where Kessel backhanded the disc by Smith for his 23rd goal of the season.
Stamkos scored on the power play with 1:43 left in the opening period. He blasted a wrister from the left circle high to beat Giguere.
Stalberg tied the game midway through the second period with his fourth goal of his rookie campaign. He then gave the Lightning the lead with 3:43 left in the period by directing the puck from the right circle by Smith.
Just 24 seconds later, Foster tied the game on a blast from above the right circle as the puck found its way through traffic and by Giguere.
Stamkos was the recipient of a left-handed punch from Dion Phaneuf with 1:57 remaining in the period. Phaneuf and Downie were given roughing penalties on the play.
Bozak moved Toronto ahead 3-2 at 3:37 of the third. Kessel sent the puck from the right circle to the slot, where it deflected to Bozak below the left circle for the goal.
Downie netted the equalizer just 1:23 later by deflecting on oncoming puck in front and then sweeping it past Smith.
The NHL's longest point streak this season is held at 19 games by Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks...Tampa Bay has lost 12 of its last 16 at Toronto...Giguere has a career record of 5-1-0 with one shutout in six games against Tampa Bay...Stamkos has 17 goals and 16 assists during his 18-game streak.
03/12 02:29:51 ET