The Toronto Maple Leafs finished their two-game Florida road trip with a fun 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in front of a
near sold out Air Canada Centre lot of Leaf fans at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. It was a nice bounce-back win after getting their bums handed to them in that hard loss against the Florida Panthers. The Leafs got out to a 1-0 lead as Mason Raymond took a Kulemin pass and roofed the backhand past Bolts goaltender Ben Bishop. It would remain 1-0 until the third when Jay McClement would take the loose puck left by David Clarkson and tuck it past Bishop. James van Riemsdyk would make it 3-0 before Tyler Bozak capped off the night by potting one in to the empty net to give the Leafs a comfy three-goal lead and win.
Nikolai Kulemin had one of his better games of the season tonight for the Buds as he finished with an assist on the night and was flying all over the ice. With rumors about him possibly getting dealt and him wanting to remain a Leaf, it was nice to see him show he can still put the puck in the net. The move that put Kulemin at centre was an interesting one by Carlyle. He struggled at the face-off dot but still contributed offensively. Kulemin finished with a sub-50 per cent corsi-for percentage in about 15 minutes of ice time, but remember, he plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs,
Jonathan Bernier had another great performance, stopping 33 of 34 Tampa Bay shots to earn the win after getting shelled for four goals against Florida on Tuesday night. With Bernier given the last two starts and playing great here tonight it would not be shocking if Bernier gets another start against the sad Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. James Reimer deserves a start before the break, but with Bernier continuing to play superbly, could you really blame Carlyle for putting Bernier back in there?
One last note: Phil Kessel owns.
Two assists tonight puts Phil Kessel in a tie with Patrick Kane for 4th in league scoring.
— J.P. Nikota (@JPNikota) February 7, 2014
Phil Kessel now has 10 multi-point efforts in his last 14 GP. He has 25 points (10 G, 15 A) in those 14 games. Just amazing. #TMLtalk
— Leafs Stats Guy (@LeafsStatsGuy) February 7, 2014
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 3, 2014