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Tampa Bay Lightning routs Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2

TORONTO — Lightning wing Mattias Ritola had gobs of blue shaving cream in his hair. Center Nate Thompson wore a hat with Viking horns.

Ritola was doused in the locker room because he scored twice Monday night, on his 24th birthday, in Tampa Bay's 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Thompson, with a goal and an assist, was awarded the horns as player of the game.

Nothing against Steven Stamkos, Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier, but coach Guy Boucher was thrilled others besides his three stars stepped up.

"We were looking for secondary scoring," Boucher said. "We got secondary scoring."

And the Lightning (39-22-9), which lost six of seven previous games, regained some confidence.

Tampa Bay scored more than three goals in regulation for the first time in 10 games. And it cut the Capitals lead in the Southeast Division to three points.

It also got contributions from players who lately had been absent from the score sheet.

Ritola, with his first multi-goal NHL game, hadn't scored in 12 games. Thompson hadn't scored in 17. Mike Lundin got his first goal of the season, and Dominic Moore's tally was his first point in five games.

Teddy Purcell had three assists. Brett Clark had two and was plus-4, and goalie Dwayne Roloson had 30 saves.

Not that the big three were left out.

Lecavalier's goal with 1:07 left in the second period to make it 4-2 was huge. And Stamkos and St. Louis had two assists each.

But with Lecavalier, Stamkos and St. Louis having 13 of Tampa Bay's previous 28 goals, it was time for others to chip in. So Boucher, at a pregame meeting, challenged his forwards.

"The message was you can't have Stamkos, St. Louis and Lecavalier and wait for them to score goals," Boucher said. "That's not the way it goes."

"We've been doing the little things, blocking shots, killing penalties, creating a little bit of energy, but we still need to do more," Thompson said. "We had to create some offensive chances and bury our offensive chances."

The morning skate was devoted to creating traffic in front of the net and getting pucks on goal.

Lecavalier scored from the crease after Simon Gagne carried the puck off the side wall and got a shot to dribble through the legs of goalie James Reimer.

Moore's goal was from the front of the net, and Ritola's first goal was off a rebound after Thompson, whom Boucher called "a differencemaker," fought off two defenders to shoot.

"We did everything we talked about before the game," Ritola said. "We were going to the net, putting pucks there. That's how you score goals."

And how you get rewarded with a shaving cream pie.

Lightning 1 3 2 6
at Maple Leafs 0 2 0 2
Lightning 1 3 2 6
at Maple Leafs 0 2 0 2

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Thompson 8 (Purcell, Clark), 9:53. PenaltiesBergenheim, TB (slashing), 3:41; Kessel, Tor (slashing), 3:41; Lundin, TB (high-sticking), 6:23; Bergenheim, TB (tripping), 7:27; Grabovski, Tor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:27; Brewer, TB (interference), 19:58.

Second Period2, Toronto, Phaneuf 5 (Brent, Lupul), 5:12. 3, Tampa Bay, Ritola 3 (Hall, Thompson), 9:25. 4, Tampa Bay, Ritola 4 (Purcell, Clark), 12:34. 5, Toronto, Kulemin 26, 14:37. 6, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 18 (Gagne, Purcell), 18:53. PenaltiesOhlund, TB (delay of game), 15:18.

Third Period7, Tampa Bay, Moore 13 (St. Louis, Stamkos), 8:47. 8, Tampa Bay, Lundin 1 (Stamkos, St. Louis), 14:32. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 13-10-13—36. Toronto 7-12-13—32. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 0; Toronto 0 of 3. GoaliesTampa Bay, Roloson 20-22-3 (32 shots-30 saves). Toronto, Reimer 13-7-4 (29-24), Giguere (8:47 third, 7-6). A19,410 (18,819). T2:30.

Lightning 6

Leafs 2

Tampa Bay Lightning routs Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2 03/14/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 12:29am]
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