Sun, 29 Mar 2020

Lightning fall to Leafs after Stamkos exits

Field Level Media
26 Feb 2020, 13:05 GMT+10

John Tavares scored two goals, and the Toronto Maple Leafs hung on for a 4-3 road win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

The defeat could be a particularly costly one for the Lightning, since captain Steven Stamkos left the game late in the second period due to an undisclosed injury.

The Lightning outshot the Leafs by a 14-3 margin in the final frame, but Yanni Gourde collected Tampa Bay's only goal of the lopsided period. Thirteen of Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen's 26 saves came in the third period as Andersen earned his 26th win of the season.

Toronto entered the game with a 2-4-0 mark over its past six games but solidified its hold on third place in the Atlantic Division.

The Lightning saw their franchise-record, 11-game home winning streak end.

Tampa Bay has now absorbed three consecutive regulation losses for the first time this season. The Lightning have surrendered 16 goals over those three games, and opponents have scored eight goals on their past 22 power-play chances against Tampa Bay's penalty killing unit.

Stamkos assisted on the game's opening score, as Nikita Kucherov recorded his 30th goal of the season 9:46 into the first period. Kucherov now has a 17-game points streak, with 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) over that stretch.

Jake Muzzin responded with the equalizer at the 12:48 mark, and Tavares put Toronto ahead with a power-play marker at 16:42.

The second period was almost a replay of the first, as an opening goal from the Lightning (off the stick of Pat Maroon) was followed up by two Maple Leafs scores.

A Tavares backhander restored Toronto's lead just 31 seconds after Maroon's score, and William Nylander added an insurance goal with a spectacular power-play effort at 14:21. Nylander took a pass in front of the net, then turned while shooting the puck between his legs for his 28th goal of the season.

Muzzin missed the third period due to a hand injury.

Nylander had a goal and an assist while Tyson Barrie had two assists for Toronto. Kevin Shattenkirk had two assists for the Lightning.

Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 19 of 23 shots.

--Field Level Media

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