TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 22: Right wing Joffrey Lupul #19 of the Toronto Maple Leafs shoots the puck during a first period power play against the Tampa Bay Lightning November 22, 2011 at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Lightning Vs. Maple Leafs: Tampa Blown Out At Home By Toronto, 7-1

The Leafs dominated the Bolts all evening, and added three more goals in a sloppy third period of play by Tampa.

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Lightning Vs. Maple Leafs: Tampa Blown Out At Home By Toronto, 7-1

Looking to bounce back from their first home loss in a month, the Tampa Bay Lightning hosted an improved Toronto team challenging for first place in the Northeast division. After blowing out Tampa division rival Washington 7-1 on Saturday, the Maple Leafs turned right around and administered the same whooping to the Bolts at the St. Pete Times Forum on Tuesday.

With a 4-1 lead entering the third period, the Leafs added three more against the Bolts in a sloppy period of play for Tampa. Just a little over three minutes into the period, goalie Dwayne Roloson tried to play a puck off the boards behind the net. It was a careless pass and a closing Tyler Bozak intercepted the puck, brought it around and flipped it into the open net with Roloson not even in the neighborhood after coming out to play the puck. Bozak read the play perfectly and dove off to his left to pick off the pass.

The Leafs second goal of the third period capitalized on some more careless Tampa play, as Dion Phaneuf stopped a clear at the blue line and dumped it back into the zone. Even with the Leafs outnumbered 2 on 3, Joffrey Lupul was still able to get a rocket off right in the middle of the ice in front of Roloson. He set up and shot the puck relatively unchallenged by Lightning defenders. At 6-1, that would end Roloson's night as Mathieu Garon would get the call from Guy Boucher.

Toronto would add one final goal with a three-on-three chance, with Joey Crabb stuffing it past Garon in traffic. It was a dominating performance by Toronto and a discouraging effort from Tampa. The Bolts are now off for Thanksgiving, traveling to Florida on Friday for the first of a home-and-home weekend series with the Panthers.

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Lightning Vs. Leafs: Bolts Continue To Sink, Trail 4-1 After Two Periods

The Lightning played slightly better on the ice during the second period of play in Tampa, but it wasn’t enough to trim Toronto’s lead any. The Maple Leafs entered the period up 3-1, and they managed to keep the Lightning off the scoreboard despite some close calls.

Steven Stamkos nearly had a goal for the Lightning late in the period, but after he crashed the net on a 2-on-1, Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson made an impressive save and blocked the whole corner of the net. Stamkos was then hit off his feet, the puck was stopped, and the Lightning didn’t seriously threaten again for the remainder of the period.

The Leafs scored their fourth goal when Matt Frattin tore past the Lightning defense, and then flipped a pass behind the back to Joe Colborne who was waiting – unguarded – at the top of the crease. Dwayne Roloson had been drawn off to the side of the net by Frattin, so Colborne was able to slide the puck into the net for the first goal of his NHL career.

To join in the conversation about this game, check out the GameThreads at SB Nation’s team blogs: Raw Charge and Pension Plan Puppets.

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Lightning Vs. Maple Leafs: Tampa Bay Trails 3-1 After First Period

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: poor defense and timely penalties are killing the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the first period of Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bolts got themselves into an early hole; they allowed two power play goals, and finished the period trailing the Leafs 3-1.

The Bolts are frustrating to watch tonight, as they look good on the ice and put consistent pressure on the Leafs through the entire first period. They out-shot the Leafs 13-8, and they nearly scored on a couple occasions during two power plays in the first half of the period. They allowed a goal within the first minute of play, but it was a difficult shot to do anything about; Jake Gardiner hit a slapshot into traffic from back by the blue line, and Clarke MacArthur managed to get a stick on it and deflect it past Dwayne Roloson. It was one of those goals where the only thing you can do is tip your cap to your opponent.

But the later two goals? Disappointing. The Lightning tied the game up at one on a power play goal by Vincent Lecavalier, and they kept the game there until late in the period. With a little under four minutes to go in the period, though, Victor Hedman got called for a high sticking (double minor, 4 minute) penalty, and the Bolts had to finish off the period with an extended penalty kill. Tim Connolly snuck in the second goal for the Leafs, and then after Pavel Kubina got sent to the box on an interference call, Tyler Bozak took advantage of the 5-on-3 to increase the Leafs’ lead further.

To join in the conversation about this game, check out the GameThreads at SB Nation’s team blogs: Raw Charge and Pension Plan Puppets.

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Tampa Bay Lightning host Toronto Maple Leafs

The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last game of the Lightning's three-game home stand.

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