Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) robs Toronto Maple Leafs center Patrick Marleau (12) on a shot during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Vasilevskiy shines in return, Lightning beat Maple Leafs 4-1

December 13, 2018 - 9:40 pm

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy made 48 saves in his return from a broken left foot and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Thursday night in a matchup of the NHL's top two teams.

Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson both scored for Tampa Bay during the final 36 seconds of the second period to make it 4-1. Vasilevskiy, who missed the previous 14 games, stopped all 23 shots he faced in the period.

Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov also had goals for the Lightning (25-7-1), who have won eight in a row and lead Toronto by eight points in the Atlantic Division. The franchise record is a nine-game winning streak in 2016.

Tampa Bay scored three times on 12 shots in the second. Killorn put home a backhand with 35.8 seconds left, and Johnson converted from the slot with 1.7 seconds to go.

Toronto got a goal from Kasperi Kapanen, and Frederik Andersen stopped 17 shots. The Maple Leafs have lost three of four (1-2-1) after a five-game winning streak.

Vasilevskiy got his glove on Patrick Marleau's point-blank chance and then trapped the loose puck with his pad early in the third.

The Maple Leafs hit the crossbar or post three times in the first and Vasilevskiy made a left pad save on John Tavares' in-close backhand late in the period.

Nazem Kadri had a nifty deflection stopped by Vasilevskiy and also hit the post during a power play midway through the second.

Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead on Kucherov's power-play goal at 5:31 of the second that required a video review. A no-goal call on the ice was overturned when officials determined Andersen's glove save came behind the goal line.

Kucherov also had an assist and has six goals and 29 points over the last 15 games.

Kapanen put the Maple Leafs up 1-0 after stealing an errant pass into the slot by Kucherov 5:26 into the game.

Cirelli tied it on his third short-handed goal at 8:20 of the first.

NOTES: Toronto (15-1-1) lost for the first time in regulation when scoring first. . Marleau played in his 738th consecutive regular-season game and passed Jay Bouwmeester for the seventh-longest streak in NHL history. . Toronto LW Zach Hyman served the second of a two-game suspension for a hit on Boston D Charlie McAvoy on Saturday. . Tampa Bay RW Mathieu Joseph sat out with a lower-body injury.

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: Play at Florida on Saturday.

Lightning: Start a four-game trip Sunday in Winnipeg.

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