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Lightning a winner again 3-2

It nips Toronto and treats 15,587 to its fourth victory in five games.

The Lightning training room was standing-room-only.

Sixty minutes against Toronto on Thursday at the Ice Palace had produced more than the usual number of bumps and bruises.

Pavel Kubina propped up a left leg that had taken 53 stitches after it was cut by a skate. Fredrik Modin had bags of ice wrapped around his leg and arm. Cory Sarich, Jassen Cullimore, Andrei Zyuzin and Stan Neckar hobbled in for treatment.

But you didn't hear a complaint.

Not one after the Lightning beat the Maple Leafs 3-2 before an announced 15,587 for its fourth win in five games and first against Toronto at home since 1993.

"There were a lot of guys sacrificing their bodies out there," said Tampa Bay goaltender Kevin Weekes, who stopped 26 shots. "That's the key to neutralizing a team that's as offensive as the Leafs are."

Modin scored the winner against his former team with 13:41 remaining to help the Lightning improve to 4-0-0-1 during its homestand.

"We're cutting down on mistakes and everybody is chipping in and playing the way we've talked about playing," Modin said. "There's still a long way to go, but it's very nice and feels really good to see the steps we've taken the last couple of weeks."

The Lightning took a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals by left wing Dimitry Afanasenkov, the first of his career, and right wing Martin St. Louis.

Afanasenkov scored 8:29 into the period when he skated in behind center Ryan Johnson and Toronto defenseman Wade Belak at the left circle, stole the puck and wristed a shot that beat Toronto goalie Glenn Healy stick side.

Healy faced 23 shots.

The Lightning made it 2-0 on a breakout by St. Louis with 3:58 remaining. It was his 15th goal of the season and third in as many games.

Toronto center Mats Sundin nearly tied it in the second period. He beat two Lightning players down the ice and shot under Weekes' left pad with 11:56 remaining.

He nearly tied it less than six minutes later when left wing Gary Roberts broke away, was pulled down by Tampa Bay defenseman Andrei Zyuzin and lost the puck.

Sundin and Lightning defenseman Adrian Aucoin, who were trailing the play, came down the slot with their sticks interlocked. As they skated toward the puck, and the net, Sundin's left skate kicked the puck into the net.

The goal was disallowed.

"That's the way it goes," Sundin said.

Toronto tied it 1:22 into the third period on center Yanic Perreault's 22nd goal of the season.

Modin gave the Lightning the 3-2 lead off a deflection with 13:41 remaining. Kubina intended to pass to center Brian Holzinger in the slot. The puck instead deflected off Holzinger and right to Modin, who wristed a shot between Healy's legs.

Weekes, who has a 1.77 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in his past five starts, stopped all nine shots he faced in the third period. The Lightning's penalty-kill units continued to impress, killing all six power plays it faced. It is 43 for its past 46.

"It wasn't a perfect game by us," Lightning coach John Tortorella said, "but it's a good sign we win a game we struggled in a good portion of it."

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