123 SO T
TBL000 0 (1-3) 3

Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 3, SO

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

TORONTO (AP) -Scott Clemmensen had a memorable first start for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Clemmensen stopped Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards in a shootout to help the Maple Leafs to a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Tomas Kaberle and Mats Sundin scored in the shootout to give Toronto its first shootout win this season. It also gave Clemmensen his first NHL win since Feb. 25, 2007.

The 30-year-old spent parts of the past six years bouncing between the American Hockey League and serving as Martin Brodeur's backup with the Devils. He signed with the Maple Leafs over the summer and had an 11-4 record in the minors before being called up when Vesa Toskala injured his groin last month.

Toskala is doubtful for Thursday's game in Pittsburgh so Clemmensen could get another start. But he's not taking anything for granted.

"I've been around the block too long to know how this goes here," Clemmensen said. "Vesa's clearly the No. 1 guy here. That's for sure, it's not debatable right now.

"A lot of things can happen and those things are way out of my reach and out of my control."

Clemmensen impressed coach Paul Maurice.

"He has a certain veteran presence about him," Maurice said. "He looks like he has been in an NHL dressing room for a while - and he has. He looks like he's been involved in some big games - and he has.

"He looks like he's learned from the best - and he has."

Sundin, Jason Blake, and Hal Gill had goals in regulation for the Maple Leafs. Blake also had two assists while playing on Sundin's line for the first time in more than a month.

Andreas Karlsson, Martin St. Louis and Paul Ranger scored for Tampa Bay, which has lost eight of its past nine and remains the NHL's worst road team.

Lightning coach John Tortorella faulted St. Louis, Richards and Vincent Lecavalier for the team's latest defeat.

"Our top players have to play better, they have to step up," he said. "Our third and fourth lines played well, but our top two lines were outplayed by their top players.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Shane O'Brien (left) and Toronto Maple Leafs center Mats Sundin (right) collide in the second period at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008. Sundin's goal in the shootout gave the Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

"Their top guys outplayed our top guys ... that's why you walk away with one point and not two."

Blake was held pointless in eight games before breaking out against the Lightning and has just six goals one season after scoring 40.

He is hoping to pick up his production.

"I don't want to look behind I just want to look forward," Blake said.

Karlsson opened the scoring for Tampa at 13:29 of the first period with his first goal of the season. He took a nice pass out of mid-air from Jan Hlavac and batted it into the goal.

Blake made it 1-1 at 3:23 of the second period after taking the puck at the side of the goal and banking a shot in off Lightning goalie Karri Ramo.

Sundin put the Maple Leafs up 2-1 with his team-leading 18th goal at 9:39. The captain took a pass from Blake and broke in alone down the wing before faking a shot and sending the puck over Ramo.

St. Louis tied the game 29 seconds later off a faceoff in the Leafs zone when Vinny Prospal beat Leafs defenseman Pavel Kubina to the puck and fed him in front.

Gill's second goal of the season at 17:27 of the second period put Toronto back in front. The defenseman's point shot found its way through after the Maple Leafs had pinned Tampa its own zone.

The Leafs looked headed for victory until Ranger tied it with 40.3 seconds remaining. His shot floated through a crowd before beating Clemmensen.

Clemmensen was in goal for New Jersey on the final day of last season when the Devils lost to the New York Islanders in a shootout and they jumped past Toronto to grab the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Clemmensen made amends for the Leafs on Tuesday.

"It's unbelievable," Clemmensen said. "It's a shootout win about six months too late, but we got it.

"I know that Leafs fans were rooting for me at the end of last year and I hope that they'll continue to root for me now that I'm actually wearing the sweater."

Notes: Tampa plays in Montreal on Thursday and Ottawa on Saturday ... Toronto is 16-4-2 when playing a home game on New Year's Day ... Ramo's only career victory came against the Maple Leafs on Dec. 20 ... Lightning forward Brad Richards entered the game with a league-worst minus-21 rating ... Toronto leads the season series 2-1. The final meeting between the teams is on Feb. 29 in Tampa, Fla.

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