Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) controls the puck after taking Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (88) down during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Maple Leafs Extend Series Lead Over Lightning to 3-1

A 5-4 comeback win in overtime extended the Toronto Maple Leafs’ series lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning to 3-1. Despite a series-opening win, the Lightning will face playoff elimination in game five on Thursday.

Early Lightning Strikes

Game four of the playoff series opened with Tampa Bay taking an early 2-0 lead in the first period.

Alex Killorn put the Lightning on the board halfway into the first on a tap-in from Nikita Kucherov.

Mikhail Sergachev followed with his first goal of the series on another pass from Kucherov.

Tampa added two more in the second period, including another from Killorn on a wrist shot to give the Lightning a 4-1 lead.

A Killer Comeback

Despite a shot from Noel Acciari to put the Maple Leafs on the board, Toronto trailed Tampa Bay 4-1 at the end of the second period.


However, the game isn’t over until the buzzer sounds at the end of the third, and the Maple Leafs definitely took advantage of that third period.

Halfway through the third, Mitch Marner sent it over to Auston Matthews for a shot to send it in past Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Matthews wasn’t done at one goal. Making it a one-goal game, the California native sent it in again with eight minutes left in regulation.

Four minutes later, teammate Morgan Rielly tied the game at four, taking advantage of Vasilevskiy’s position. Coming back from a sizable deficit, the Maple Leafs sent the game to overtime.

Four minutes into overtime, Alexander Kerfoot secured Toronto’s comeback victory on a tipped shot past Vasilevskiy fired by Mark Giordano.

Game Five

Game five of this series holds much importance for both teams.

If the Lightning fall to Toronto again, they face playoff elimination.

On the other hand, the Maple Leafs are looking to surpass the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

The matchup is set for Thursday night at 7 in Scotiabank Arena.

About Scarlett Cooney

Scarlett Cooney is a second-year journalism student specializing in sports and media.

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