- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

TORONTO (AP) - Matt Pettinger, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone and Paul Szczechura all scored goals to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Lee Stempniak had given Toronto a 1-0 lead, but it didn’t last. The Maple Leafs had earned 15 of 22 points in their previous 11 games but couldn’t cope with the Lightning, who have the second fewest points in the NHL.

Stempniak scored the only goal in the first period that included only 12 shots on goal.

Luke Schenn slapped a long shot and the puck bounced to Stempniak at the front of the crease. Tampa Bay goalie Karri Ramo lost his balance and Stempniak smacked in his 13th goal at 3:21. He has scored 10 times in 49 games since being acquired from St. Louis.

The Lightning tied it with a second-period breakaway. Maple Leafs goalie Martin Gerber fell into his net while blocking the puck with his right leg but he couldn’t stop Pettinger’s shot from crossing the goal line at 5:25.

St. Louis made it 2-1 at 17:10 when he fired a cross-ice pass from Steven Stamkos into the open side for his 25th goal.

Tampa Bay outshot Toronto 16-5 in the second period.

Anton Stralman took his second penalty of the night at 13:06, and Malone took advantage by scoring his 24th goal at 14:35.

Szczechura capped the scoring by beating Gerber with a wrist shot at 17:54.

Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson was ejected in the final minute for arguing with the referees.

Notes:@ Tampa Bay led 30-21 in shots. … A spectator threw a puck onto the ice in the third period, and a linesman retrieved it as play continued. … Lightning rookie Steve Stamkos has 14 goals and 33 points in 65 games. … Tampa Bay won two previous games against Toronto this season 3-2 on Oct. 28 and 6-4 on Feb. 12. … Going into the game, man games lost due to injuries totalled 258 for Tampa Bay and 159 for Toronto.

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