NHL: Toronto 4, Tampa Bay 1

Feb. 6, 2014 at 10:48 PM

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Jay McClement touched off a three-goal Toronto third period Thursday that pushed the Maple Leafs to a 4-1 win over Tampa Bay.

Toronto picked up two crucial points against one of the teams battling for playoff positions in the tight Eastern Conference race.

The night began with Tampa Bay, Toronto, Montreal, the New York Rangers, Detroit, Columbus and Philadelphia holding down the third through ninth positions in the conference standings and all of them separated by just seven points.

Mason Raymond scored for the Maple Leafs midway through the second period and Toronto then broke things open in the third on goals from McClement and James van Riemsdyk.

After Ondrej Palat scored for the Lightning, Tyler Bozak added an empty-net goal with 2:52 remaining.

Jonathan Bernier recorded 31 saves for the Maple Leafs. Ben Bishop started in goal for Tampa Bay, but left after two periods with an upper body injury. Bishop was replaced by Cedrick Desjardins, who allowed the two key third-period goals on 11 shots.

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