Montreal Canadiens' Jonathan Drouin (27) scores against Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 21, 2023, in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

Lightning Lose to Maple Leafs in Stanley Cup Playoff Ambience

The Tampa Bay Lightning loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 Tuesday night in Amalie Arena. This was Tampa’s fourth straight loss as they approach Stanley Cup Playoff play. Luckily for Tampa, they have a chance to seek revenge over Toronto when it matters most. This was a prelude game to both teams first-round Stanley Cup playoff match up as Toronto will have home ice advantage over Tampa.

William Nylander had a goal and two assists for Toronto as Joseph Woll, the AHL goalie call up, made 45 saves. Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, with Nick Perbix and Alex Killorn scoring as well.

The Lightning went 0-8 on the power play but it was a physical, harsh penalty calling game by the referees. Both benches combined for 20 minuets of penalty time with 14 power plays, including four fighting majors.

The Leafs had a solid part of its lineup sitting the bench as Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner watched from the press box. The Lightning had the advantage with 81 shot attempts and 49 shots on goal but still could not execute a win.

First Period

It was quite a first period as three, almost four, goals were scored in the first 20 minutes.

Nylander gave Toronto a 1-0 lead on the power play off a pass from O’Reilly; his wrist shot from the bottom of the right face off circle glided in for the first goal.

It took the Lightning a minute to respond and tie the game. Working the puck to the back line, Steven Stamkos passed it to Sergachev and his shot was tipped by Killorn.

Unfortunately, Pat Maroon thought he had a goal himself, but it was overturned for goalie interference. 13 seconds later, Luke Schenn found the loose puck and wrist shot it in from above the right circle.

Second Period

The Lightning had an immense amount of shots on goal within the first five minutes of the second period. Tampa did a good job keeping the puck in the zone and Toronto couldn’t get it out. Nikita Kucherov’s shot was bounced around in the front of the net and found home on Nick Perdix’ stick. His shot from the left circle was ripped into the corner of the net to tie it two apiece.

A 4-on-3 power play for Toronto would work in its favor late in the second period. John Tavares caught the rebound in the front of the net and passed it to Calle Jarnkrok who was stationed at the post. His shot from the side of the net gave them a 3-2 lead.

Third Period

Toronto scored its final insurance goal in the third period. A turnover gave Nylander a steal as he circled around the net. Matthew Knies’ initial shot went through Vasilevskiy but trickled near the goal line just before O’Reilly knocked it over.

Mikhail Sergachev scored an unassisted goal for Tampa Bay as he intercepted a shot in the high slot and easily whistled it past Wolls.

The Lightning had six minutes left to tie the game again but couldn’t capitalize, even after having a two-man advantage from an empty net and a power play.

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