The Tampa Bay Lightning had its second road victory in its pocket and let it slip through a hole.
Instead of attacking in the third period, the Lightning appeared to be content trying to nurse its one-goal lead. That strategy barely worked two nights ago in St. Louis, but it didn't in Toronto on Thursday night.
Todd Gill, Mike Krushelnyski and Nikolai Borschevsky all scored in the final period to propel Toronto to its first win of the season, 5-3 over the Lightning before 12,672 at Maple Leaf Gardens.
It was the first time the Lightning (2-2-1) had given up three goals in a period.
Gill fired the puck from the left point past Lightning goalie Wendell Young to tie the game for the third time at 3-3 at 4:51 of the final period. Sylvain LeFebvre and Krushelnyski each assisted on the goal, which gave Krushelnyski 300 for his career.
Krushelnyski scored the go-ahead goal 2:07 later. Toronto dumped the puck into the Lightning zone. Young collected it and left it for rookie defenseman Stephane Richer. Richer couldn't clear it as Mike Foligno dug it from behind the net and got it to Mark Osborne.
Young went down and Osborne passed to Borschevsky who lifted it over Young for his fourth goal of the season.
For Tampa Bay, it was the fourth game in a five-game road trip in seven nights.
Teams shoot for .500 on the road, and the Lightning is 1-2-1 for three points out of eight. Tampa Bay will have to beat Buffalo at Memorial Auditorium tonight to get to .500.
The Maple Leafs entered the game looking for its first win of the season. They lost at home to Washinton 6-5 and at Calgary 3-2, and they tied at Edmonton 3-3.
"We need to win," Toronto first-year coach Pat Burns said before the game. "We've been in every game. But that's not good enough."
This is the first of nine games between the two teams _ two more than they play against the rest of the Norris Division foes. The reason is because of the four extra games in the season. The No. 5 finisher in each division (Toronto with a 30-43-7 record last season) plays two more games against No. 6 (Tampa Bay, an expansion team).
"We know playing Tampa Bay will be no cakewalk," Burns said. "We're not much better than these guys."
Mikael Andersson scored the first short-handed goal in Lightning history to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead at 8:12 of the second period.
Andersson received a perfect drop pass from Brian Bradley and fired a shot from 25-feet that was so hard it would have made Bobby Hull proud. Before Grant Fuhr could react, the puck flew over his right shoulder.
That goal came just 44 seconds after Danton Cole tied the game with both teams down a player. Anatoli Semenov gave a perfect centering pass to Cole, who faked the shot and then went around Dave McLlwain and sent a wrist shot between the pads of Fuhr.
Cole, obtained from Winnipeg for future considerations, pumped his fist after scoring his first goal of the season and 22nd of his NHL career.
The Toronto fans booed after the Maple Leafs' second-period effort.
The Lightning scored just 31 seconds into the first period. Center Rob DiMaio won the draw which went to Cole. Cole passed to defenseman Peter Taglianetti, who snapped a wrist shot from the left point. Fuhr got a glove on the puck, but it went past him for Taglianetti's first goal of the season.
DiMaio (one goal, five assists) is the only Lightning player to have a point in all five Lightning games.
Toronto tied the game at 1-1 just seven seconds after its power play expired. Drake Berehowsky fired a shot from the right point. The rebound went right to Doug Gilmour who was standing on the right side of the crease. Gilmour tipped it between Young's glove and the right post at 7:39 of the first period.
Gilmour, who was traded to Toronto from Calgary last season, leads Toronto in points with three goals and four assists.
The Maple Leafs took their first lead of the game 2-1 at 10:57 when Peter Zezel got the puck in the slot from 15 feet. His shot caromed off Wendel Clark and past a surprised Young.
Young argued to referee Dan Marouelli that the puck went off Clark's skate (which would have disallowed the goal) and not his stick. But his complaint was to no avail.