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game recap

Malone's OT goal spoils Kessel's return

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:16 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Malone's OT goal spoils Kessel's return
Tampa Bay Lightning 2, Toronto Maple Leafs 1
Mattias Ohlund gave Phil Kessel a rude greeting in his Maple Leafs debut. Ryan Malone spoiled the rest of the night for Kessel and his new teammates.

Malone swatted home an airborne puck 2:21 into overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 victory over Toronto on Tuesday night, disappointing the sellout crowd of 19,301 that had come to see Kessel's first game as a Leaf. Malone knocked in a shot that had bounced over goaltender Jonas Gustavsson moments after John Mitchell nearly won it for the Maple Leafs. The goal stood after a video review.

"We really met the challenge tonight," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "We killed five, six penalties in a row. Guys really willed (the win) and obviously (goalie Antero) Niittymaki played unbelievable for us."

Niittymaki made 40 saves -- 10 of them on Kessel. The speedy 22-year-old, acquired from Boston in a preseason trade that cost the Leafs two No. 1 picks, made his season debut after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He showed all the speed and offensive skills that attracted GM Brian Burke -- and also proved his shoulder was OK when he survived a thunderous open-ice hit from Ohlund at the Tampa Bay blue line late in the first period.

"I don't remember (ever) getting hit like that," Kessel said of the thunderous hit by Ohlund.

"I put myself in a bad situation to tell you the truth, I shouldn't have done that. Clean hit, he got me good."

Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning (5-4-4), who won for the first time in six road games this season. Ian White's third-period goal was the lone tally for the Leafs (1-7-5), who've lost three consecutive games in OT and are 0-4-2 at Air Canada Centre.

"We have to persevere, we can't change what we're doing because we're right there knocking on the door," coach Ron Wilson said. "We've just got to find a way to knock the door completely down."

Lecavalier rammed home the rebound of Ohlund's blast from the left circle at 18:34 of the second period after Ohlund picked off Gustavsson's attempted wraparound -- the 12th time in 13 games that the Leafs have allowed the first goal.

White tied it 5:04 into the third period by beating Antero Niittymaki on the Leafs' seventh power play. They had wasted the first six, including a two-man advantage for 49 seconds.

The best news for the Leafs was that Kessel looked like the real deal -- someone who can give them some much-needed offense. He finished the night with 10 shots on goal, had seven others blocked and missed the net on two more.

"I had a ton of chances, let me tell you," Kessel said. "I've got to find some way to get some of those to go in. First game, got to get better. My job on this team is to score goals, and I've got to start doing that."


scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
18:34
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (2) Snap shot - ASST: Mattias Ohlund (5)
1 - 0 TBL
3rd Period
05:04
TOR
PPG - Ian White (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Niklas Hagman (4), Francois Beauchemin (3)
1 - 1 Tie
OT Period
02:21
TBL
Ryan Malone (9) Snap shot - ASST: Alex Tanguay (5)
2 - 1 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
10:14
TOR
Francois Beauchemin  Tripping against  Zenon Konopka
13:20
TBL
Mattias Ohlund  Roughing against  Matt Stajan
13:20
TOR
Matt Stajan  Roughing against  Mattias Ohlund
13:20
TOR
Matt Stajan  Roughing against  Mattias Ohlund
14:40
TOR
Niklas Hagman  Fighting (maj) against  Lukas Krajicek
14:40
TBL
Lukas Krajicek  Fighting (maj) against  Niklas Hagman
14:40
TBL
Lukas Krajicek  Interference against  Niklas Hagman
19:37
TBL
Jeff Halpern  Hooking against  Mikhail Grabovski
2nd Period
00:48
TBL
Victor Hedman  Tripping against  Jason Blake
01:56
TOR
Phil Kessel  Hooking against  Ryan Malone
09:00
TBL
Victor Hedman  Hooking against  Mikhail Grabovski
16:22
TBL
Lukas Krajicek  Interference against  Niklas Hagman
19:15
TBL
Matt Walker  Tripping against  Nikolai Kulemin
3rd Period
03:28
TBL
Jeff Halpern  Hooking against  Mikhail Grabovski
09:01
TOR
Nikolai Kulemin  Tripping against  Martin St. Louis
16:05
TBL
Mattias Ohlund  Boarding against  Mikhail Grabovski
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Antero Niittymaki
SA: 41TOI: 62:21
Saves: 40EV: 23 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 16 - 17
SV%: .976SH: 1 - 1
Jonas Gustavsson
SA: 32TOI: 61:56
Saves: 30EV: 20 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .938SH: 2 - 2