Tampa Bay Lightning’s third consecutive Stanley Cup bid was in trouble.
Or is he?
Lightning blew his lead in the third inning as the Toronto Maple Leafs won 4-3 and advanced 3-2 in the first round of the Eastern Conference’s first round.
“That match was up for us and we just let it slip through our fingers,” Lightning coach John Cooper told reporters.
Despite this, lightning has a recent history on their side. They are heading home for Game Six and are 16-0 after losing since the start of the 2020 post-season. Meanwhile, Toronto have not won a first-round streak since 2004. In 2018, 2019 and 2021, the Leaves took three wins but failed to get a fourth.
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Tampa Bay will need more to keep the run alive. Lightning seemed headed for another win with two quick goals in the first period, but they weren’t able to get another disc after Jack Campbell until the third inning.
By then, the Leafs had recovered to lead 3-2 on a second-half goal by Jon Tavares and a third-half goal by Morgan Riley and William Nylander by 73 seconds. It was the first major change in the series.
Tampa Bay’s Ryan McDonagh tied the match, but was later arrested, leading to a 2-on-1 break for Toronto. Auston Matthews scored on so-called passing pads from Mitch Marner.
“Just an incredible major play by him,” Matthews said. “I had the whole net to shoot at. I just had to put my stick on the ice.”
Matthews said veteran Jason Spiza spoke to the team during the first break.
“The main message was that this wasn’t our best period, we just had to go out and compete and get back to our game,” he said.
The Maple Leafs played for Lightning in the second half and scored three goals from seven shots in the third.
Light goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevsky, winner of last year’s Coon Smith award as the playoff player of the year, has conceded at least three goals per game this round.
Lightning will also have to figure out how to close out the Leafs’ stars, especially with the Tavares finally having a big game.
“We didn’t let a chain slip,” Cooper said. “We let a game slip away.”
Adrian Quimby Kings silence oilers crowd
The Edmonton Oilers staged a furious crowd in Game 5, as they overcame a two-goal delay in the third to tie the game 4-4 against the Los Angeles Kings.
But Kings All-Star Adrian Kempe quickly finished the match in overtime, silencing the Oilers fans by scoring in 1:12 to give Los Angeles the 3-2 lead. It was his second goal in the match.
His celebration said it all.
“We had a good mindset going into overtime,” he told ESPN. “It’s been like this all year. It doesn’t matter if we’re at the bottom or if we’re at the top. We can still always count on who we are and we did that tonight.”
Seth Jarvis of the Hurricane team scores a strange goal against the Bruins
Carolina Hurricanes striker Seth Jarvis scored twice in the 5-1 win over the Boston Bruins.
The first was a little strange.
Ice knocked, and tried to pass the puck in front of Grid. But it hit Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk’s skate and floated over Jeremy Swayman’s shoulder.
“A lot of things had to go well for that to happen,” he said.
His second goal was more traditional as he scored a rebound.
Jarvis said he was still feeling the effects of being knocked down by a shot to the thigh in Game 4. But he didn’t mind getting back in front of the net.
“If I get hit again, I hit again,” he said. “Okay, I’m saying that now, but if I get hit again, I might be frustrated for much longer.”
Hurricanes lead the series 3-2.
Pittsburgh at New York Rangers, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. The penguins are up 3-1
Washington in Florida, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2. 2-2 . tied series
Dallas in Calgary, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. 2-2 . tied series