Toronto Maple Leafs beat Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime to take a 3-1 series lead

Lightning Monday

As well as anyone, Auston Matthews knows Toronto’s job is not done. With a 5-4 overtime win in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series, the Maple Leafs moved closer to their first playoff series victory in nearly two decades.

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Including last year, when Tampa Bay rallied from 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to advance in seven games, Toronto has not won a playoff series since 2004. As Alexander Kerfoot scored on the power play at 4:14 of overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 3-1 series lead, Matthews said, “the fourth one is the hardest one to get.”

Coach Sheldon Keefe said it feels different, though he cautioned the team not to get ahead of themselves. Looking ahead to Game 5 in Toronto on Thursday, the coach said, “We have a tough task.”

Over the past three postseasons, the Lightning have won 11 of 12 playoff series and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final three times. Matthews said, “We know what we’re up against.”

At 16:04 of the third period, Morgan Rielly’s second goal of the series tied the series 4-4 as Killorn scored twice in helping the Lightning build a 4-1 lead that the Maple Leafs erased with three goals – two by Matthews. Toronto rallied late to force overtime twice in three nights. Ryan O’Reilly’s goal with 60 seconds left in regulation kept the Maple Leafs alive, and O’Reilly won it in overtime at 19:45 for a 2-1 series lead. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, “We scored enough goals to win. You have to keep them out of your net.”.

Career Points Joe Pavelski Dallas Stars Signature
Career Points Joe Pavelski Dallas Stars Signature

The Lightning also scored through Mikhail Sergachev and Steven Stamkos. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 shots before Kerfoot redirected Mark Giordano past Vasilevskiy for the win. In the second period, Noel Acciari deflected Juston Holl’s shot past Vasilevskiy, briefly pulling Toronto within one goal before Tampa Bay pulled away with goals by Stamkos and Killorn. Cooper said that Toronto had a different idea. “Maybe we were thinking of putting it away,” he said.

The Maple Leafs were fortunate the deficit wasn’t greater after one period. After Ilya Samsonov stopped Brandon Hagel’s penalty shot just eight minutes into the game, Killorn and Sergachev scored their first goals of the series off perfect feeds from Nikita Kucherov.

When Kucherov delivered the puck to Killorn and Sergachev from the right circle, Samsonov was positioned to defend. He scored his first goal on a power play and his second on a shot from the left circle that beat Samsonov to the far post. 27 shots were stopped by Samsonov. Heading into Game 5, the Lightning have lost three in a row after winning the series opener on the road by four goals. We are still going to the rink,” Cooper said. “The series is not over yet.”





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