- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - John Mitchell, who scored the Maple Leafs’ first goal in the second period, netted the winner in the shootout to lift Toronto to a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Mitchell’s deciding goal was scored in the sixth round of the shootout and gave the Maple Leafs a win after they had trailed 3-0. In front of a supportive crowd on the road, Toronto forced overtime by scoring the tying goal with 6 minutes left in regulation.

Jeff Hamilton, who tied it at 3, scored the first shootout goal. Vincent Lecavalier used a deke move to get the Lightning’s only shootout goal past Curtis Joseph to force the extra rounds.

Mitchell won it with a low shot past the right skate of goalie Karri Ramo.

The Lightning went ahead 3-0 on a power-play goal by Lecavalier, who has a team-high 29 goals.

Steven Stamkos and Matt Pettinger added a pair of goals only 10 seconds apart, matching the Lightning’s second fastest two goals at home.

Jason Blake scored the second goal for the Maple Leafs four minutes into the third.

Toronto avoided a four-game, season-series sweep by the Lightning, who outscored the Maple Leafs 16-10 this season and had won six straight against them.

Tampa Bay has lost four straight and seven of eight home games.

This was the second-straight game decided by a shootout for the Lightning. Tampa Bay beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Saturday.

Notes:@ Toronto has played an NHL-high 22 overtime games. The Lightning have been in 19. … There was a pregame moment of silence held for former Lightning and Detroit Pistons owner William Davidson, who died on March 13. Williams owned the Lightning from 1999-2008. … Lightning D Cory Murphy sustained a lower body injury and missed the third period. … Lightning D Marek Malik sat out his seventh straight game due to an undisclosed lower body injury. … Maple Leafs D Tomas Kaberle was scratched for a seventh consecutive game because of a hand injury. … Tampa Bay recalled D Matt Lashoff from Norfolk (AHL) and he made his NHL debut.

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