TORONTO – Mats Sundin had a goal and an assist in his first game since sustaining serious eye injury, and the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Toronto captain helped Jeff O’Neill end an eight-game goal drought by assisting on the first goal. Sundin then gave Toronto a 3-1 lead in the second period.

Darcy Tucker, Alexander Steen and Chad Kilger also scored for the Maple Leafs, who were outscored 23-16 in losing four of their previous six games.

Dan Boyle and Vincent Lecavalier scored third-period goals for the Lightning, who lost their third straight. Tampa Bay almost rallied to tie it with two goals in the third, but received three penalties in the final minutes.

Toronto goalie Ed Belfour made 33 saves.

Sundin received a loud ovation in the pregame introductions.

O’Neill scored midway through the first after converting Sundin’s pass from behind the net.

Toronto took a 2-0 lead with 28 seconds left in the period after Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis received a double minor for high-sticking and drawing blood from Tucker, who shrugged off the cut and scored his sixth goal.

Evgeny Artyukhin cut it to 2-1 with his first goal of his NHL career by converting a pass from behind the net. Artyukhin got the puck from one of the officials.

But Toronto took scored twice in the period. Sundin, sliding on one knee, scored from the side of the net after receiving a pass from O’Neill, and Toronto rookie Alexander Steen had an unassisted goal after a Tampa Bay turnover.

Boyle cut it 4-2 with a power-play goal just 52 seconds into the third, and Lecavalier tipped Dave Andreychuk pass on the power play past Belfour at 9:01.

Kilger scored into an empty net with three seconds left.

Notes: Cam Neely, who will be inducted into Hall of Fame on Monday, was honored before the game. Neely spent 10 years in Boston, scoring 50 or more goals three times. … Sundin sat out 12 straight games since being struck in the eye seven minutes into the season opener. He missed only 23 games due to injury in his first 10 years with Toronto.

AP-ES-11-05-05 2152EST


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