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Stamkos scores No. 59, but Leafs win in OT

Thursday - 4/5/2012, 10:14pm  ET

TORONTO (AP) - Steven Stamkos scored his 59th goal of the season, but Dion Phaneuf scored the game-winner in overtime for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 3-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

Stamkos is trying to become the NHL's first 60-goal scorer since Washington's Alex Ovechkin had 65 in the 2007-08 season, and just the second player to reach that mark in the last 15 years.

He badly wanted to get the job done in his hometown _ "Oh yeah, it'd be special," he said before the game _ but heads to Winnipeg instead needing a goal in Tampa's final game on Saturday.

Tim Connolly and Jake Gardiner also had goals for Toronto.

Martin St. Louis added a goal for the Lightning.

Stamkos appeared to be headed for his league-leading 13th game-winner of the season after sneaking behind the Toronto defense and converting a perfect pass from Bruno Gervais at 8:48 of the third period to make it 2-1. But Gardiner tied it up with less than three minutes to play in regulation by banking the puck in off a defender.

Phaneuf's winner came after Dwayne Roloson stopped a Phil Kessel shot.

There was very little atmosphere for Toronto's final home game of the season. With the team long out of playoff contention and the Blue Jays' marathon opener in Cleveland stretching into the Leafs' game time, there were several clusters of empty seats at Air Canada Centre.

When it was over the Leafs saluted the crowd before skating off the ice here for the last time this season.

St. Louis opened the scoring for Tampa Bay with a shot that caromed off some bodies and past Ben Scrivens 5:49 of the first period. Stamkos was standing at the edge of the crease but didn't pick up a point on the play.

It took less than a minute for the Leafs to tie it up, with Connolly getting a beautiful pass from Gardiner and having a wide open net to shoot at.

Stamkos truly began establishing his presence during a second period where he was credited with six shots. Scrivens stopped him with a toe save early on before getting a blocker on another good shot through traffic.

At the other end, Roloson did his part to keep the game close.

The 42-year-old Lightning goaltender got his glove on a great chance by Tyler Bozak before stretching his leg back to deny Clarke MacArthur on the rush.

NOTES: Leafs F Joffrey Lupul took the morning skate _ his first since separating a shoulder March 6 _ but won't play again for Toronto this season ... Former Leafs goalie Johnny Bower received a loud ovation when he was shown on the scoreboard ... Stamkos has three goals in eight career games at Air Canada Centre.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)