Tampa, Fla. (CBS) The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered their worst loss of the season Tuesday night, losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-1 in front of a sell out crowd at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Toronto jumped out to an early lead 41 seconds into the first period with a redirected goal from Clarke MacArthur to set the tone early for the Leafs. Vincent Lecavalier scored a power play goal for the Lightning to tie the game half-way through the first, which would turn out to be the only goal scored by the bolts.
Dwayne Roloson’s night ended early after surrendering six goals on 21 shot attempts, but what didn’t help his case was the amount of penalties racked up by the Lightning. Tim Connolly put the Leafs ahead with a tip-in late in the first, and Tyler Bozak extended the lead with a power play goal to make it 3-1 heading into the second.
For a team that’s played so well at home this season, this loss is a difficult one to swallow. Toronto goaltender Jonas Gustavvson faced more shots than Roloson and Mathieu Garon combined, but still manged to stop 27-of-28 shots to help his team remain atop the Northeast division.
Rookie center Joe Colborne netted his first career NHL goal for the Leafs at 4:26 in the second period, and Bozak, Joffrey Lupul and Joey Crabb added three goals for the Leafs in the third to make a comeback improbable for the bolts.
Tampa Bay ended their three-game home stand finishing 1-2-0. Wins have been scattered and consistency has been lacking for the bolts. Their defense and goaltending has been shaky at best, and the big three have not been producing when it matters most.
Guy Boucher needs to identify the soft spots and mold his team into a playoff caliber squad, because at this rate the bolts will be lucky enough to keep pace in a highly competitive Southeast division.