Skip to main content

Lightning-Maple Leafs Preview @NHLdotcom

If the Toronto Maple Leafs want to end a three-game skid against the last-place Tampa Bay Lightning, then Ron Wilson's club must find a way to keep the puck out of the net when short-handed.

The Maple Leafs will try to end that slide against the Southeast Division's worst team on Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre.

Toronto (27-28-13) has been outscored 12-8 during the skid, but seven of Tampa Bay's goals have come with the man advantage. Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and rookie Steven Stamkos are the only members of the Lightning on the current roster to score such a goal.

The Lightning are 7-for-13 on the power play in their last three games versus the Maple Leafs, but there's been little that has been positive for Tampa Bay in 2008-09.

On Tuesday, Cory Murphy and Adam Hall scored on the power play, but the Lightning fell 3-2 in overtime at Ottawa. It was the fourth straight loss and 15th in 19 games for Tampa Bay (21-32-14).

Tampa Bay is 3-for-13 on the power play during its skid.

"We played hard," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "I don't think we gave them much and the goals that they did get they were opportunistic."

As they have done for most of the season, Lecavalier and St. Louis have carried the offense.

Lecavalier has recorded five straight multipoint games against Toronto, totaling four goals and six assists. The top overall pick in 1998 leads the club with 28 goals and is second with 63 points

Linemate St. Louis had one of his best games of the season on Feb. 12 against the Leafs, posting a goal and three assists in a 6-4 win.

St. Louis also has points in seven of his last eight games, with four goals and seven assists over that stretch. He leads Tampa Bay with 42 assists and 66 points.

After being limited to a total of two goals in losses to Edmonton and Ottawa, the Maple Leafs posted a 3-2 overtime win at home over the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Alexei Ponikarovsky scored the tying goal with just over 11 minutes to play in regulation, and assisted on Mikhail Grabovski's game winner 50 seconds into the extra session.

"The coach had faith in me and gave me a chance to play in overtime," said Grabovski, who tallied his 14th goal to end a 17-game drought. "It's my first career goal in overtime, so I'm pretty happy."

Lee Stempniak also scored for the Leafs. He leads Toronto with two goals versus Tampa Bay this season.

Martin Gerber stopped 28 shots in the win, and improved to 2-1-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average since being picked up off waivers from Ottawa on March 4. Gerber's only shutout this season came against Tampa Bay on Dec. 13, when he made 24 saves in the Senators' 2-0 victory.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.