TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — James Reimer made 34 saves, taking a shutout into the final minute, and the Toronto Maple Leafs snapped a five-game skid with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
Reimer stopped a number of good scoring chances, including shots by Brett Connolly, Martin St. Louis and Nate Thompson during the first. The goalie also turned aside two in-close shots by league goals leader Steven Stamkos in the second.
St. Louis spoiled Reimer’s shutout bid with 26 seconds left.
John-Michael Liles, Joey Crabb and Jake Gardiner scored for the Maple Leafs, who are 3-13-2 in their last 18 games. Matthew Lombardi had two assists.
Tampa Bay dropped to 1-2 in its seven-game homestand. The Lightning, 11th in the Eastern Conference, trail eighth-place Washington by seven points.
Toronto has won the first three games of the season series, outscoring the Lightning 17-4. The Maple Leafs moved within eight points of the Capitals.
Stamkos and Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf both were given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties late in the second. Stamkos received an additional high-sticking penalty, which occured as officials were attempting to get the pair to their respective benches.
Phaneuf and Stamkos tangled again with 1:22 to go in the third after the Toronto defenseman checked St. Louis into the boards. Phaneuf got 4 minutes for roughing, while Stamkos got a 2-minute roughing penalty.
After Tampa Bay defenseman Brian Lee took an interference penalty 7 seconds into the game, Liles put the Maple Leafs up 1-0 from the slot off a nifty pass by Mikhail Grabovski at 1:09.
Crabb was left alone in the left circle and beat rookie Dustin Tokarski as Toronto went ahead 2-0 at 3:27 of the second.
After the Tampa Bay bench was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for abusive language that negated a power play, Gardiner made it 3-0 with 7:32 left in the second. Tokarski was pulled after the goal and replaced by Dwayne Roloson.
Notes: Toronto LW Nikolai Kulemin didn’t play due to a broken finger and could be sidelined three weeks. … Tampa Bay LW Ryan Malone has his seven-game point streak end. … Liles’ goal was his 300th NHL point. … St. Louis’s goal was his first in eight games. … Crabb stopped a personal 20-game goal drought.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.