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Leafs Can't Rally In Loss To Bolts

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs


TORONTO -- Tyler Johnson scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning extended their win streak to seven games with a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Monday night.

Johnson, who took a Kevan Miller clearing attempt off his forehead in Sunday's 4-1 win in Boston and was a question mark to play in Toronto, picked up his first multi-goal game of the season.

Nazem Kadri got the Leafs on the board late in the third, but Toronto was unable to find the equalizer.

With the win, Tampa Bay (37-22-4) matched their season-best win streak. Toronto (21-30-10) has now lost back-to-back games and seven of eight.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves for his 11th win while Garret Sparks stopped 26 shots, falling to 3-2-0 this season.

Johnson opened the scoring at 4:53 of the second period beating a screened Sparks with a snap shot glove-side from near the top of the face-off circle.

The Bolts forward made it 2-0 at 15:28 of the middle period beating Sparks five-hole from the side of the net for his 11th of the season.

Brad Boyes nearly got the Leafs on the board late in the second, on a power play, but his shot rang off the post.

Kadri picked up his 12th of the season, on a power play, at 17:45 of the third after getting the puck past a screened Vasilevskiy.

Sparks, making his first NHL start since Dec. 17, did his best to hold Toronto in the game during the first period as the Leafs were outshot 15-9.

Near the 12-minute mark, Sparks robbed Steven Stamkos in close as the Lightning captain couldn't get the puck up and over the rookie's left pad.

Moments later, Sparks sprawled out to stop Valtteri Filppula with the paddle of this stick.

Stamkos had his season-high six-game point streak snapped in the loss.

Tampa Bay played the second half of the game with six defencemen as Andrej Sustr left the game with an undisclosed injury near the seven-minute mark of the second and did not return.

The Bolts have won all three meetings between the two clubs this season. They'll meet again on March 15 in Toronto.

Notes: Maple Leafs forwards Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (muscle spasms) and Byron Froese (broken hand) each missed their first game since getting injured. Defenceman Jason Garrison returned to Tampa Bay's lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. Prior to puck drop, the Leafs observed a moment of silence for the late Andy Bathgate, who passed away last week.

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