Preview of Tampa Bay Lightning 5: The Bolts Return in Toronto

With Series 2-2 complexity, the Bolts and Maple Leafs play a pivotal 5 game Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.

Tampa, Florida – This was a weird chain, wasn’t it?

Besides Game 3 where the Tampa Bay Lightning made a late-game push, the Maple Leafs and Bolts equally dominated and suffered.

“It’s a little baffling that they were biased the way they are,” said Lightning coach John Cooper.

In all four matches, the winning team entered the third period with a difference of at least two goals. The losing team did not score a goal in the first period.

In each competition, the team that started the fastest wins the match. The text has not yet been flipped. When Cooper was asked why this happened, he simply replied, “I don’t know.”

Nobody knows why this is happening across the league either. While we’re seeing a slew of series tied with two games each, we don’t see many games going downhill.

There is an idea that could change during the last phase here.

“We’ve reached a point in the series where both teams know what to expect, it’s just a matter of getting out and doing,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said.

Keefe described the trip to Tampa as a success. When Toronto came to Florida for Game 3, this was a 5-game series with three games inside the AMALIE Arena.

Now this is a series of 3 games, maybe 2 games left in Canada.

Another win on the road won’t lead to a two-time Stanley Cup title win. This is a group that, for some reason, works at its best when you’re close to caving in walls. That’s why they won the NHL record 17 games in a row after losing in the postseason.

It seems unlikely that this record will ever be overcome.

“This group has proven that they know what it takes to win at this time of year and we know how to respond,” said Captain Stephen Stamkos. “We’ve done it twice now, let’s go out there and take the lead. That should be the mindset.”

Here are the three things you need to know when entering Game 5:

1. When a series is tied 2-2, historically, the winner of Game 5 takes 79 percent of the time.

2. Toronto goalkeeper Jack Campbell has been withdrawn After giving up five goals. How to enter his confidence in the pivotal match?

3. In addition to the 4 game, Lightning went 1 out of 8 in the Power Play game. With the series sweeping through sanctions, they can’t stand that kind of struggle the rest of the way.

Also shout out to Victor Hedman who was selected as a finalist for the Norris Prize for the sixth consecutive season. He scored his career highs and ranked among the top three NHL defenders in goals (3, 20), assists (2, 65) and points (3rd, 85).

The puck drops inside Scotiabank Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. There’s also a Lightning Watch party at Armature Works in Tampa.

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