TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews’s goal in the second period proved to be the winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Toronto was also represented by Pierre Engvall, Michael Bunting and William Nylander. Matt Murray made 18 saves. Nylander and Engvall, who also had assists, were able to score into an empty net in the final minutes.
Tampa Bay lost its five-game winning streak by Vladislav Namestnikov. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 shots from the Lightning, who had lost in regulation just four times in their last 17 games (13-4).
After collecting at least one point in 15 games (including a loss to Washington Capitals and New York Rangers), the Maple Leafs were coming off a regulation road defeat.
It was a matchup from a first round playoff series. Toronto led the Lightning by 3-2. Tampa won Game 6 at home in double overtime and took the series. The Lightning, the two-time Stanley Cup defending champions, reached their third consecutive Stanley Cup Final before losing to Colorado Avalanche.
Toronto, which lost 4-3 in OT in Tampa on Dec. 3, opened Tuesday’s scoring at 16:45 of the first, when Bunting took a pass from William Nylander and fired past Vasilevskiy’s blocker for his eighth goal of the season.
Matthews defeated Vasilevskiy just 61 seconds into the middle of the period. He scored with a high shot from a power play.
Through two periods, Tampa was outshot by the Maple Leafs 29-8.
Namestnikov got his second rebound of the season with a 4:09 finish.
Murray and the Maple Leafs held onto the win as the Lightning tried to press. Engvall scored the goal for his sixth season. Nylander also added a goal with 32 seconds remaining for his 19th season.
MOMENT OF SILICENCE
Before puck drop, the Leafs announced that Vittorio Panza (grandfather of Victor Mete) was among five people who were killed in a shooting at Vaughan, Ontario over the weekend.
Panza’s partner was also fatally shot.
Toronto and Tampa Bay observed silence in honor of the victims before the game.
Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin (neck) left in the second period after assisting on Matthews’ goal. He didn’t return.
STAMMER APPROACHING 500
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is just three goals away from 500 goals for his career. The 32-yearold was drafted No. The Tampa Bay draft drafted No. 1 in 2008. He is now aiming to be the 47th NHL player to achieve this milestone.
Tampa Bay: Wednesday, Detroit. This is the third of a 4-game trip.
Toronto: Philadelphia Flyers will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
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