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.