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Leafs continue to feel at home

Toronto improves to 13-2 in Tampa, using a goal with 4:18 left to beat the Lightning 3-2.

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 16, 2001


TAMPA -- How do you explain the Maple Leafs' domination of the Lightning in Tampa.

With Thursday's 3-2 victory in front of an announced 14,842 at the Ice Palace, Toronto is 13-2 in Tampa. The winning goal came with 4:18 left, when Alexander Mogilny scored his sixth goal from Darcy Tucker and Shane Corson for the Northeast Division-leading Maple Leafs.

The goal spoiled what would have been a nice story for the Lightning. Tim Taylor scored his first goal of the season with 35.1 seconds left in the second period to tie at 2.

It was Taylor's first goal since Nov.28, 2000 -- a span of 31 games -- when he played for the Rangers.

It was a particularly frustrating game for Lightning goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, whose blind backhand pass into the corner led to Alyn McCauley's second-period goal that gave Toronto a 2-1 lead.

Vinny Lecavalier scored his third goal for Tampa Bay, and Jimmie Olvestad had two assists.

Khabibulin made 19 saves as the Maple Leafs outshot the Lightning 22-20.

Mats Sundin scored Toronto's other goal, and Curtis Joseph, who is 17-3-2 against Tampa Bay, made 18 saves.

The Lightning took a 1-0 lead 32 seconds into the game on Lecavalier's goal. He was assisted by linemates Ben Clymer and Olvestad, but Lecavalier did the hard work.

The center fought off defenseman Bryan McCabe and pushed the puck behind the net.

After a battle, the puck popped out to the side of the net to Clymer, who nudged it to Olvestad. He pushed it back to Lecavalier, who scored on a wraparound.

The Lightning introduced defensemen Josef Boumedienne and Sascha Goc, who were paired in their first game since being acquired from the Devils on Nov.9 for Andrei Zyuzin.

They had a rough first shift.

Goc tried to clear the puck along the boards. But the pass was intercepted by Mikael Renberg, who fought off a check from Boumedienne near the net and passed cross-slot to Sundin.

He launched a bullet into the top corner on Khabibulin's stick side to tie at 4:18.

Khabibulin had to be sharp midway through the period when he went to his knees to stop a point-blank shot by Jonas Hoglund and a wrister by Sundin, who had four of the Leafs' 10 shots, from almost the same spot he scored.

Tampa Bay challenged again on the power play with 1:40 left in the period when Brad Richards picked up a loose puck and fired from the high slot. But Joseph made the glove stop.

The Maple Leafs took a 2-1 lead on a mistake by Khabibulin. The goaltender left the crease to play a puck coming around the boards.

Khabibulin shoved the puck blindly to the corner and right to Garry Valk, who passed to McCauley. He was a step ahead of Lightning wing Juha Ylonen and shot into an open net at 3:51.

Joseph had to be sharp at 10:37, when Brian Holzinger picked up a loose puck in the Maple Leafs' zone and fired at Joseph, who had to do the split to make what seemed to be a toe save with his right foot.

The Maple Leafs, who led 18-13 in shots after the period, had two chances in succession at 16:10 as Hoglund fired a slap shot that was blocked by a sprawling Jassen Cullimore.

Hoglund got the rebound and fired again, forcing Khabibulin to make a save with his blocker.

Khabibulin made a purely reaction save on Dmitry Yushkevich's wrist shot from the slot with 54 seconds left. The Lightning tied at 2 with 35.1 seconds left when Taylor scored off a scramble in front of the net.

Assists went to Ylonen, who started the play by chasing down a puck in a corner of the Toronto zone, and Olvestad.

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