Allison Sparks Maple Leafs Past Lightning
TORONTO (AP) _ Jason Allison scored twice and had an assist, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Saturday night in a matchup of struggling teams.
Matt Stajan, Mats Sundin and Nik Antropov also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won just six of their last 22 games. Toronto began the day seven points behind Montreal for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Allison _ who has had a difficult this season _ put a backhanded shot past goalie Sean Burke at 5:55 of the first to give Toronto a 1-0 lead. He made it 3-1 in the third after Tampa Bay defenseman Darryl Sydor failed to clear the puck, allowing it to trickle in front of the net to Allison, who scored his 13th goal.
He assisted on Sundin’s goal at 10:08 of the third.
Ruslan Fedotenko scored the lone goal for the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning, who have lost six of nine and allowed 50 goals during the skid. Tampa Bay began the day in seventh place in the East, one point ahead of eighth-place Montreal.
Mikael Tellqvist, Toronto’s backup goalie, got the start after Ed Belfour played in Toronto’s shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Friday night. Tellqvist looked sharp in the first two periods but allowed Fedotenko to cut it to 2-1 in the third on a weak goal.
Tellqvist, however, robbed Fredrik Modin of a goal with a kick save midway through the second. He finished with 29 saves.
Burke allowed five goals on 30 shots _ dropping to 0-4 in his last four starts.
Stajan scored a short-handed goal on a 2-on-1 by putting a wrist shot past Burke at 17:19 of the second, giving Toronto a 2-1 lead.
But after Tellqvist allowed a big rebound, Fedotenko got the puck back and put a weak wrist shot past Tellqvist, who was out of position.
Notes: Toronto coach Pat Quinn benched struggling forward Jeff O’Neill a day after sitting enforcer Tie Domi, who complained about not playing. ... Toronto’s Wade Belak knocked Shane Dingman to the ice during a fight in the third.