Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning beats Maple Leafs behind St. Louis hat trick

TAMPA — So, Marty St. Louis scored three goals and was plus-4 in the Lightning's 5-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, and what was his first thought?

"I'm really happy for my youngest, Mason," he said of his 5-year-old son. "All year before I leave (for games), he tells me, 'Get a hat trick, Dad,' and I finally came through for him."

Not only did St. Louis come through in front of an announced crowd of 18,826 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, he is on the verge of history.

His 58 points took the league lead from Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby. If St. Louis holds on, he will, at 37, be the oldest winner of the Art Ross Trophy.

Not that St. Louis, who has 16 goals and a league-best 42 assists, wanted to talk about it.

"I'm just going to try to play the right way and finish the year strong," he said, "and see where it takes me."

St. Louis and linemate Steven Stamkos are taking the Lightning (18-24-4) on a pretty interesting ride.

Stamkos had a goal and an assist against Toronto and was plus-5. His 29 goals are two behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the league lead, and his 56 points tied Crosby for second.

It is a testament to Crosby that it took 25 days since he was sidelined with a broken jaw to be overtaken in the points race. Even so, St. Louis, who also won the points title in 2004, and Stamkos can be the first teammates to finish one-two in points since Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96.

"It looks good, but when you're not in the playoffs, you always wish you could do more," Stamkos said. "It just doesn't feel the same when you're not contributing to wins. If we play the way we did (Wednesday) and win and contribute like that, that's the ultimate goal."

It was a complete effort by the Lightning, which broke a six-game losing streak and benefited in the first period from a couple of Maple Leafs shots off posts.

Radko Gudas shook off a right ankle injury to score the winner with a booming slap shot 3:13 into the third period that broke a 2-2 tie. Nate Thompson had two assists, and goaltender Ben Bishop was solid with 26 saves.

But it was a stunning goal by Stamkos, who fought off defenseman Mark Fraser and roofed a backhand over goalie James Reimer, that earned top play, and St. Louis' seventh career hat trick — finished with an empty-netter — transformed coach Jon Cooper into a fan.

"When I'm outside the coaching realm, how can you not be a fan of what he does?" Cooper said. "He deserves all his accolades."

Especially those he gets from Mason.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@tampabay.com. View his blog at lightning.tampabay.com. Follow him on Twitter at @LightningTimes.

Lightning 0 2 3 5
Maple Leafs 1 1 0 2

First Period1, Toronto, Kessel 17 (Bozak), 17:03. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period2, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 29 (Thompson, Carle), 5:54. 3, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 14 (Thompson), 15:48. 4, Toronto, Lupul 11 (MacArthur, Franson), 19:36. PenaltiesPurcell, TB (high-sticking), 1:14; Pyatt, TB (tripping), 3:13; MacArthur, Tor (tripping), 17:02.

Third Period5, Tampa Bay, Gudas 2 (Purcell, Stamkos), 3:13. 6, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 15 (Aulie, Tyrell), 13:08. 7, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 16 (Lecavalier), 17:11 (en). PenaltiesFraser, Tor (hooking), 3:59. Shots on GoalToronto 6-13-9—28. Tampa Bay 7-9-10—26. Power-play opportunitiesToronto 0 of 2; Tampa Bay 0 of 2. GoaliesToronto, Reimer 18-7-5 (25 shots-21 saves). Tampa Bay, Bishop 11-9-1 (28-26). A18,826 (19,204). T2:26. Referees—Kyle Rehman, Kelly Sutherland. LinesmenKiel Murchison, Brian Murphy.

Lightning beats Maple Leafs behind St. Louis hat trick 04/24/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    ON THE BALL: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria makes the play and the throw during the first inning against the Pirates.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.

  3. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company

    College

    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.
  4. Lightning prospects mantra: You never know when NHL chance will appear

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Brett Howden said he watched closely last season as former junior teammate Brayden Point made an remarkable rise to a Lightning regular in his first year pro.

    Lightning prospect Mikhail Sergachev skates during the Lightning Development Camp Wednesday at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Rays journal: Team says no concern over 'hiccups' from Alex Colome

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The Rays say they know what isn't wrong with closer Alex Colome, that he's not hurt or in a mental funk. And they seem certain that whatever led him to have three straight rough outings will soon be corrected.

    Rays reliever Alex Colome has “had a couple hiccups” of late, manager Kevin Cash says.