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Lightning In Trouble After Blowing Third-Period Lead Vs. Maple Leafs

TAMPA, Fla. — — The Tampa Bay Lightning stored their season, conserving their bid for a three-peat alive.

The two-time protecting Stanley Cup champions rallied to overcome the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in additional time on Thursday evening, staving off removal and forcing a winner-take-all Game 7 within the first spherical playoff sequence between the Atlantic Division opponents.

Brayden Point scored the profitable target on a rebound with 1:56 final within the first additional length, touching off a raucous party within the stands at sold-out Amalie Arena and handing Toronto every other crushing postseason blow.

Ondrej Palat, Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov additionally scored for the Lightning, who blew a two-goal lead for the second one immediately recreation and trailed 3-2 getting into the 3rd length.

But not like Tuesday evening, when Toronto got here from at the back of to win Game 5 at house, the Maple Leafs could not dangle off the reigning champs to say their first playoff sequence win in 18 years.

Game 7 is Saturday in Toronto.

“All we did was buy another chance to keep our season going,” Point mentioned.

“It all comes down to one game. … Those are fun ones to play in,” Cirelli added.

The Lightning are seeking to grow to be the primary workforce to seize 3 consecutive Stanley Cup titles because the New York Islanders gained 4 in a row from 1980-83.

The Maple Leafs, who’ve been eradicated within the first spherical every of the previous 5 seasons, are 0-for-their-last-8 in close-out video games as they chase their first postseason sequence win since 2004.

“We had our looks in OT. Unfortunately we weren’t the ones to cash in on our opportunities,” Toronto’s John Tavares mentioned.

“We worked hard all year to earn home ice, and we’ve got a great opportunity going home in front of our fans to try to close this thing out,” Tavares added. “Look forward to the opportunity. It’s what the game’s all about.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy had 30 saves — 9 in additional time — to give a boost to to 18-0 in video games following a playoff loss over the last 3 postseasons.

“It’s about wins this time of the year, and this group has proved that we don’t care how it gets done,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “We just want to get it done.”

Jack Campbell stopped 32 of 36 photographs for the Maple Leafs, whose fortunes shifted dramatically after they have been whistled for 2 high-sticking consequences inside of a 16-second span of the 3rd length.

The Lightning capitalized at the 5-on-3 power-play alternative, with Kucherov’s target making it 3-3 halfway during the 3rd length.

Special groups additionally performed a task in Tampa Bay’s first two objectives — Palat scoring whilst skating 4 on 4 within the opening length, and Cirelli’s short-handed target leaving the Maple Leafs with a two-goal deficit that Auston Matthews and John Tavares burnt up during the last part of the second one.

Matthews minimize into the deficit together with his fourth target of the sequence. Tavares scored two times within the final 34 seconds of the second one length to place the Maple Leafs forward 3-2.

“I thought we were playing a good third period up until they had the 5 on 3,” Toronto trainer Sheldon Keefe mentioned.

“We were protecting our net well. We were defending well. We were in good position. I loved how we were playing,” Keefe added. “The 5 on 3 turns things, and then it took us a bit to really get our game going from there.”

The Maple Leafs rallied to win Game 5 at house, overcoming an early two-goal deficit and scoring 3 times within the 3rd length to win 4-3 and take a 3-2 sequence lead.

The Lightning, in the meantime, confronted removal in a sequence for simply the second one time over the last 3 postseasons. The Islanders prolonged them to Game 7 in final yr’s convention semifinals, with Tampa Bay’s profitable 1-0 ahead of occurring to defeat the Montreal Canadiens within the Stanley Cup Final.

The protecting champs as soon as once more scored the primary two objectives Thursday evening, with Palat profiting from a turnover within the impartial zone to overcome Campbell on a breakaway and Cirelli the use of a spin transfer to shake defenseman Mark Giordano and put Lightning up 2-0 with a short-handed target at 10:46 of the second one length.

Matthews scored not up to a minute later, re-directing Giordano’s shot thru heavy visitors and previous Vasilevskiy to trim Toronto’s deficit to 2-1. It gave the impression of one target may stand during the finish of the length till the Maple Leafs fixed a every other price within the ultimate minute.

Tavares’ exhausting shot from the left circle deflected off Vasilevskiy’s pad and up over the Lightning goaltender to tie it at 2. His moment target gave the Maple Leafs the lead with simply 8 seconds left ahead of the second one intermission.

With Toronto’s David Kampf and Alexander Kerfoot each within the penalty field for high-sticking, Kucherov — assisted through Point and Stamkos — delivered his moment target of the sequence.

The Maple Leafs outshot the Lightning 8-2 over the primary 11 mins of additional time.

“We had plenty of opportunities to finish the game and finish the series,” Keefe said. “It didn’t go our way, but (there’s) lots of belief in our group, and we’re excited to play Game 7 on home ice in front of our fans.”

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Video about Lightning In Trouble After Blowing Third-Period Lead Vs. Maple Leafs

Steve Dangle Reacts To Maple Leafs Losing First Round Series to Lightning

Relive Steve Dangle’s very best moments from Game 7 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning. From his reactions to consequences, waved off objectives and the Lightning sooner or later taking the sequence with a 2-1 victory, you do not want to pass over it.
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