St. Louis hat trick lifts Lightning over Leafs
Posted at: 04/24/2013 10:36 PM
By: | WHEC.com
(AP) TAMPA, Fla. - Martin St. Louis scored three goals and the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
St. Louis, who has 16 goals this season, took over the lead in the NHL scoring race with 58 points _ two more than teammate Steven Stamkos and injured Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby.
Stamkos scored his 29th goal, two behind NHL-leading Alex Ovechkin of Washington, and added an assist.
With 55 points, Toronto is one point ahead of the New York Islanders for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams, who have already clinched playoff berths, have two games remaining.
St. Louis’ goal in the second period came off wrist shot off a slick pass from behind the net by Nate Thompson to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead.
In the third period, with the Lightning leading 3-2, St. Louis got to a rebound of Keith Aulie’s slap shot off the boards and slipped the puck past goalie James Reimer.
St. Louis completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal with 2:49 left in the game.
Toronto took a 1-0 lead with 2:57 remaining in the first period when Phil Kessel pushed a wrist shot past goalie Ben Bishop.
Tampa Bay tied it in the second period when Stamkos took an open-ice pass from Thompson and slipped a backhanded shot past Reimer. Joffrey Lupul scored for Toronto with 24 seconds remaining in the second to tie it again.
Radko Gudas’ third-period goal, a slap shot that went over Reimer’s shoulder, gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead.
NOTES: Bishop made 26 saves. ... The scoreboard updated the NHL scoring race after St. Louis’ second and third goals. ... St. Louis’ hat trick is the first for the Lightning this season.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)