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Toronto 1 2 1 4
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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 12, 2018
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario  Attendance: 19,112

Lightning look to strike against Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs

  1. Tampa Bay beat Los Angeles, 4-3, at home on Saturday night, winning its second straight game, and improving to 7-2-0 in the last nine contests overall. The Bolts have scored four or more goals on 27 occasions this season -- tied with the Islanders for most in the league.
  2. The Maple Leafs doubled up the Senators, 6-3, at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night, and including three straight wins, are 7-1-0 in their last eight tilts. Toronto has potted six or more goals nine times in 2017-18 -- most of any team in hockey.
  3. The Lightning blanked the Maple Leafs, 2-0, in these clubs' first meeting of the season on January 2 at Air Canada Centre. Dating to the beginning of 2016-17, Tampa Bay has won three straight road tilts vs. Toronto by a combined score of 13-4.
  4. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos both lit the lamp once Saturday night -- the 11th time of the season they've both potted one or more goals (tied for most in the league). Kucherov has four goals in 16 career games vs. the Leafs, and Stamkos has 18 markers (including a hat trick on March 19, 2014) in 32 career skates against Toronto.
  5. Mitch Marner had two goals and three assists Saturday night, recording the first five-point game of his NHL career. The last Toronto skater with five (or more) points in a single game was Tomas Kaberle, who had a goal and four helpers against the Ducks on October 26, 2009.
  6. Toronto has a +16 goal differential (61-45) in the first period this season -- tops in the league. Tampa Bay's second-period goal differential is +30 (75-45) -- also best in the NHL.

TORONTO -- The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to win, but the Eastern Conference leaders do not like the way they have been doing it lately.

They know they must pick things up Monday night when they play the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

The Maple Leafs are 8-2-0 in their past 10 games after defeating the Ottawa Senators 6-3 Saturday night behind a career-best five-point game (two goals, three assists) by Mitch Marner.

"(Saturday) was different, he was better than he's been," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "He has been working real hard every day in practice and now it's starting to show in the game. He wasn't hit and miss, he was a full 60 minutes of doing it right and on top of it and working hard."

The Lightning, meanwhile, are 7-3-0 in their past 10 games, but have been having problems in the third period.

The Los Angeles Kings outshot the Lightning 20-4 in the third period Saturday but were unable to overcome a 4-1 deficit as Tampa Bay held on to win 4-3 as goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 44 saves.

"I feel a little ashamed that we have to depend on him that much," Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman said. "It shouldn't come to that. Not in a game like this. It's on all our guys. It's our fault."

It was the third time in the past two weeks that the Lightning have struggled in the third. On Thursday, their 4-0 lead was cut to 4-2 in a win over the Vancouver Canucks.

"What makes us a team that can learn is, we can make plays, but there's a time when you stop making plays and lock a game down," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "And we still haven't figured that out yet. It's still, 'Make a play, make a play.' They want to score on every shift. And the whole point of getting a 4-1 lead is to get a 4-1 lead and lock it down, be harder to score on. Once you start turning pucks over like that, you give a team that's down, they get a push."

"I wouldn't say it's effort, guys are trying out there, guys aren't trying to screw things up or miss assignments," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "It's just the execution. It's not only the system, but execution of the plays you make with the puck. It just has to become habit instead of one game we're good, two games we're bad. We need to be consistent. Until we do that, we're going to have to shore some things up."

The Maple Leafs (33-19-5) have won seven of their past eight games and three in a row.

"Just keep doing it right and playing with detail and you get rewarded, just like Mitch did (Saturday)," Babcock said. "He had a good night, good for him."

The Lightning (38-14-3) defeated the Maple Leafs 2-0 on Jan. 2 at the ACC in the only meeting between the teams so far this season. The teams will play in Tampa Feb. 26 and March 20.

"I mean, obviously we're trying to get to a point where we have four lines and you just roll them out the door and you don't worry about it," Babcock said after the game Saturday. "We're going to try to do that over time here. I thought we had lots of good, the whole team was great in the first -- we came out great -- we came out and really jumped. We got off it a little bit there and got carried away, it was a track meet there for both teams in the second, too many chances. Then we settled in and got it going again in the third."

"We got on the forecheck early and that's how our line has got to play more often," Marner said. "I think we all have a lot of speed and created a lot of chances off turnovers from their D-men. I think that's what we tried to do off the start (Saturday). It worked well."

The Lightning are 19-9-2 on the road and the Maple Leafs are 17-8-2 at home.

Updated February 11, 2018

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