After the first two matinees were split between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs, the series shifts to Tampa for Games 3 and 4. In the first game of the series, the home Maple Leafs blitzed the Lightning by a final score of 5-0. In the second game, the Lightning zapped the Maple Leafs 5-3.
Here is how the two teams would line up:
Early in the first period, the Leafs would find themselves on the power play. Before it expired, Nylander would find Matthews at the point. He took a shot that never made it to Vasilevskiy, as it was blocked by the Lightning defense. On the ensuing bounce, Mitch Marner would shoot the puck towards the net, that would get deflected by Michael Bunting and the rebound would find Morgan Rielly, who deposited the shot in the back of the net.
Before the end of the period, the Leafs would double their advantage. An offensive turnover by the Lightning would lead to a 3 on 1 odd man rush. The rush would by lead by Pierre Engvall, and he would lay the puck on the right side and was picked up by Ilya Lyubushkin. Lyubushkin displayed great patience, as he got Vasilevskiy to go down, and he laid a pass to Colin Blackwell, who had an empty net to shoot at. The period would end with the Leafs up 2-0.
Early in the second frame, the Leafs added an insurance marker. A turnover by the Lightning in the neutral zone would find the tape of David Kampf. Kampf would power his way by a few Lightning defenders leading to a 2 on 1. Kampf elected to shoot the puck rather than pass, and a good decision it was, and it got by Vasilevskiy’s blocker.
The Lightning would then get on the board. While on the power play, Kerfoot would intercept the puck in the neutral zone. Instead of throwing the puck back into the Lightning defensive zone, he decided to hold the puck. He suffered the consequence as he was checked off the puck, leading to an odd man rush into the Leafs defensive zone. Ondrej Palat would try to throw a cross ice pass that would get deflected off the Leafs defender. The puck would find Mikhail Sergachev, who laid a pass to Ross Colton. Colton would blast the shot in-between Jack Campbell’s glove and helmet. The period would end with the Leafs still up 3-1.
Early in the third period, the Lightning would add another marker, bringing themselves to within one. Ryan McDonagh would circle the net on the right side. He would send the puck to the front of the net, and Alex Killorn would send it toward Jack Campbell’s net. On Campbell’s ensuing poke check, the puck would find Ondrej Palat, who would rifle the shot over the blocker and in the roof of the net.
However, that would be the closest that the Lightning would come to completing their comeback, as the Maple Leafs would add two empty net goals, both being scored by Ilya Mikheyev. The Leafs would win the all important Game 3 by a score of 5-2.
Jack Campbell faced 34 Lightning’s shots, making 32 saves; while Andrei Vasilevskiy faced 34 Leafs shots, making 31 saves.
The next game for these two teams will be on Sunday May 8th at 7p on TBS.
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