|Date of game: 12/29/2014
Recap: Tampa Bay vs. Toronto
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning scored three unanswered goals to top the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, Monday.
Steven Stamkos' 20th goal of the season broke the 2-2 deadlock, and the Lightning, winners of three in a row, also got goals from Ryan Callahan and Valtteri Filppula.
Ben Bishop made 21 saves on 23 shots against him.
The Maple Leafs, losers in five of their last six games, scored on their first two shots of the game but did not muster any more offense. Mike Santorelli and Joffrey Lupul tallied the goals.
James Reimer stopped 38 of the 41 shots in the loss.
Toronto was outshot badly in the first 30 minutes of the game, and that finally caught up with the Maple Leafs in the second period. They only had four shots on goal before the Lightning got on the board, and they only added two more before the game was tied.
"That's what happens sometimes when you play the Leafs. You give them an inch, and they take a mile," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "They played last night. You gotta think they're going to get tired at some point, and I thought they did as the game went on."
Callahan narrowed Tampa Bay's deficit with a power play marker 6 1/2 minutes into the middle period. Reimer made the save on Stamkos' one-timer, but he could not stop Callahan batting the puck out of mid-air into the net.
Just three minutes later, Victor Hedman wristed a shot toward the net. It was going wide, but the puck caromed off Filppula's skate for the equalizing goal.
Another deflection would cost the Maple Leafs in the third period. Dion Phaneuf attempted to clear the puck from behind his net, but Matt Carle kept the puck in and wristed it toward the net. Stamkos deflected the shot by Reimer to complete the comeback.
"If you're continually receiving the game, that's going to happen over the course of the night when you're continually not getting the puck in the opposition's zone," said Toronto coach Randy Carlyle.
It took until the 4:28 mark for Toronto to be credited with its first shot on goal, but Santorelli made sure it counted. The Lightning did not pick him up crashing the net after he hit the ice on a line change, and Nazem Kadri's pass set him up to wrist the puck into the back of the net to open the scoring.
In transition three minutes later, the defense gravitated toward Tyler Bozak skating behind the net, leaving Lupul room to skate into the slot and quickly shoot the puck by Bishop.Game Notes
Toronto is now 11-2-0 when leading after one period ... The Maple Leafs
entered the game outscoring opponents 49-32 in the second period ... Tampa Bay
improves to 17-1-1 when its power play scores a goal ... Callahan scored his
150th NHL goal ... The Lightning are now 15-0-0 when Callahan scores.