Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Tuesday, November 3rd
Maple Leafs1
Game 2: Wednesday, November 25th
Maple Leafs4Final
Game 3: Thursday, January 21st
Maple Leafs2Final
Game 4: Thursday, March 11th
Maple Leafs4

Maple Leafs 4

(5-11-7, 17 pts)

Lightning 3

(9-6-7, 25 pts)

Coverage: TSN

7:00 PM ET, November 25, 2009

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

1 2 3 T
TOR 2 2 04
TB 2 1 03

M. Stajan (Maple Leafs - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

C. Gunnarsson (Maple Leafs - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

S. Stamkos (Lightning - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Maple Leafs-Lightning Preview


Back from a successful trip, the Tampa Bay Lightning look to continue their strong play at St. Pete Times Forum on Wednesday.

Taking on the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs could help them stay undefeated at home in regulation.

The Lightning (9-5-7) snapped a two-game losing streak and closed their 2-1-1 trip with Sunday's 4-3 overtime victory over Atlanta. Steven Stamkos scored his team-leading 15th goal 2:56 into overtime off a pass from Martin St. Louis, who set a season high with his third assist.

"From a team perspective, I thought we played pretty solid and stuck to the game plan," said Stamkos, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft. "We got lots of shots on net. We were forechecking, hard hitting."

Tampa Bay outshot Atlanta 40-31 -- ending its stretch of 10 consecutive games getting outshot -- but nearly lost despite holding a 3-1 lead with 10:40 left in regulation.

"It's just a matter of protecting the lead," said Stamkos, who is tied with St. Louis with a team-high 24 points. "We can't expect to do that and win overtime after giving up those two goals."

With the strong play of first-year Lightning goaltender Antero Niittymaki, though, Tampa Bay has been afforded some room for error.

Niittymaki, who stopped 28 shots Sunday, is 6-1-3 with one of the league's best goals-against averages at 2.02.

"Hopefully, he can keep it up," said Lightning forward Ryan Malone, whose overtime goal provided a 2-1 victory at Toronto on Nov. 3. "He made some big saves."

Niittymaki is 2-3-0 with a 2.59 GAA in five career starts against the Maple Leafs, including a season-high 40-save effort in the overtime win.

While Tampa Bay looks to improve upon its 5-0-4 record at St. Pete Times Forum, Toronto (4-11-7) is trying to bounce back from Monday's 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders.

Looking for their second set of back-to-back wins this season, the Maple Leafs lost for the sixth time in seven games despite firing 61 shots on goal.

"I don't ever remember a game like that," Toronto forward Phil Kessel said after scoring one goal on a career-high 12 shots. "I don't even know what to say after something like that."

It was the most shots taken by Toronto since it also had 61 in an 8-0 victory over Detroit on Feb. 25, 1976.

The Maple Leafs' Vesa Toskala, who made 12 saves Monday before leaving the game in the second period with a groin injury, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

Joey MacDonald, 0-3-0 with a 3.35 GAA this season, was recalled from Toronto of the AHL to fill his roster spot.

Maple Leafs rookie Jonas Gustavsson went 0-2-2 with a 4.86 GAA in his last four games. He made 30 saves in the Nov. 3 loss to the Lightning.

Tampa Bay has gone 6-0-2 versus the Maple Leafs since a 6-1 loss in Toronto on Dec. 10, 2007.