William Nylander scored at 2:43 of overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The win extended the Maple Leafs’ winning streak to four games and snapped Tampa Bay’s three-game winning streak.
It was Nylander’s fifth goal of the season. He leads the Maple Leafs with nine points in 11 games.
Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares scored his fourth goal of the season with 41 seconds left in the third period to tie the game at one. Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman tried to clear the puck and Tavares knocked it down. He played the puck to Auston Matthews, who moved it deep to Mitch Marner. Marner found Tavares in the slot for the equalizer.
Tavares was instrumental to the winning goal, too. He was slashed by Victor Hedman on a breakaway opportunity 57 seconds into overtime. The Maple Leafs ultimately scored with 14 seconds left on the power play. After some pressure around the net, Auston Matthews circled atop the zone and fed Nylander for a one-timer which he blasted past Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Tampa Bay scored the first goal of the game. Pat Maroon scored his first goal of the season, converting a 2-on-1 pass from Corey Perry, who recorded his first point of the season with the assist. It reflected poorly on the Maple Leafs that the two veteran forwards managed to get separation from Toronto’s back checkers.
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell was outstanding in the third period, keeping his team within striking distance. He stopped breakaways from Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos in addition to several more point-blank chances. Campbell finished with 24 saves on 25 shots to earn the victory.
Andrei Vasilevskiy had a strong game for Tampa Bay, too, turning aside 32 of 34 shots. He surrendered goals when the Maple Leafs had the goalie pulled late in the third period and when Toronto had a 4-on-3 power play in overtime.
The Maple Leafs had a chance to tie the game in the first period when the Lightning took two penalties on the same play. Hedman got caught flat-footed at the blueline when the puck bounced past him. Mitch Marner tried to take off but Hedman reeled him in with a hook, followed by Mikhail Sergachev finishing off Marner with a hit to the head. Both penalties were called so the Maple Leafs had a 5-on-3 power play for a full two minutes. In short, it was a mess. It was a case of sloppy execution, missed passes and not nearly dangerous enough under the circumstances.
The Maple Leafs take their four-game winning streak and 6-4-1 record into Saturday night’s home game against the Boston Bruins.
Quotes and takeaways to come shortly.
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