The Tampa Bay Lightning fell 2-1 in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs in what was an incredible goaltending dual. Both Andrei Vasilevskiy and Jack Campbell were outstanding and gave their team a chance to win. However it was the Leafs that would pick up the extra point after tying the game late in the 3rd period.
The Bolts got off to a very solid start. Tampa Bay were quick and got numerous chances early on. The forecheck was aggressive and caused numerous turnovers which lead to shifts in the Maple Leafs end. An unproductive powerplay would give , the Lightning would get on the board first in this dual. Corey Perry picked up a blocked centering pass and accelerated up the ice. He was able to find Pat Maroon who settled it down and put it past Jack Campbell. Despite the goal the biggest part of the period was a penalty kill. With just over 2 minutes to go, Victor Hedman got called for hooking after getting beat on a passed puck. Then on the same play, Mikhail Sergachev laid an illegal check to the head on Mitch Marner. This would give Toronto a 2-minute 5-on-3. Despite the Leaf’s glorious opportunity to tie the game, the Lighting would stand strong and kill it off to go into the locker room up 1-0. Although the shots were 9-9 at the end of one, the Lightning controlled possession and got a majority of the scoring chances.
The second period was much more even than the first. The Maple Leafs had numerous looks at the net including numerous 2-on-1s. The Lightning also had numerous looks they were unable to convert on. This including a 2-on-1 with Palat and Stamkos where the puck wouldn’t settle down. However the Leafs would start to push back and played a much better 2nd period. The Leafs push was in large part due to to Lightning turnovers. Maroon after game said the team “laid back a bit” However it was the Vasilevskiy that would come up big for the Bolts. He kept the scored tied on many occasions Including an Alexander Kerfoot wrap-around and a Wayne Simmons breakaway. If not for Vasilevskiy’s goaltending Toronto would’ve at least tied the game in the second period.
Campbell’s Wins the Dual
Although the 3rd period would start very at a very controlled pace, it would quickly change. About halfway through the period it would turn into a track meet. And during that track meet, Tampa Bay had numerous opportunities to close the door on Toronto. However, it was Jack Campbell that steal the spotlight in the goaltenders dual. He stopped Steven Stamkos many times including a pad-stack on a partial breakaway. Then Shortly after, Campbell would stop Brayden Point on a breakaway then Mathieu Joseph on a follow up opportunity. He single handedly kept Toronto in the game and gave them a chance to tie the game.
Hedman’s Rough Stretch
It looked like the Lightning were about to get out of Toronto with a win. They played locked down defense in the early part of the 3rd and then gotten the majority of the chances in the later part of the third. However it was not to be. This was in large part due to a rough stretch by Victor Hedman. With 41 seconds left in regulation got the puck of the end-board and tried to flip it out of the zone up the middle of the ice. However, he didn’t get enough on it and it was easily gloved down by Auston Matthews. It would eventual work its way to John Tavares to would put it past Vasilevskiy to tie the game at 1 and send it to overtime.
Hedman’s rough stretch in OT would continue. He tried to headman a pass to center ice and missed turnover over possession to the Maple Leafs. This would eventually lead to a breakaway for Tavares in which Hedman would take a slashing penalty. Despite getting through a majority of the kill, the PK unit was stuck out on the ice. The game-winner would come on a William Nylander one-timer. When asked about the clear post-game Hedman said “it happens sometimes”. In this regard, he is absolutely right.
The schedule does’t get easier for the Lighting moving forward. They will face the a young but talented Ottawa Senators team in a matinee on Saturday. Then they will come home to face the the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes have won 9-in-a-row to start the season which is tied for the second longest streak to start a season in NHL history and have not lost. The Florida Panthers are also red-hot and have started the season 9-0-1. It will be a true test for this Lightning team.
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