Andrei Vasilevskiy put on a goaltending clinic in a Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 OT loss at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pat Maroon scored in the first period, but it took over 47 minutes of scoreless hockey before John Tavares scored in the last minute of regulation to send the game to overtime. Victor Hedman took a penalty in the extra frame and fellow Swede William Nylander won the game with a one-timer from Auston Matthews.
Vasilevskiy stopped 32 of 34 shots that came his way, as the Leafs peppered him with 63 shot attempts, including 38 scoring chances. The rest of the lineup had some good moments, but long stretches of bad times. The offense was very spotty, coming in bursts when the Leafs started to stretch their offense a bit too much, but for the most part the team was trying to coast on their early lead. Overall, they carried 43% of the shot share (but if you adjust for the score and being on the road they actually were ahead by 3%) and similar ratios of expected goals.
#TBLightning Jon Cooper said it was “brutal” the way they lost tonight. “The frustrating part is I didn't feel like the Leafs beat us. I feel like we beat ourselves." Felt like they gave away a point. The turnovers costly— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) November 5, 2021
Just like the Lightning, the Leafs didn’t play a perfect game, but the Lightning chose to keep giving them chances and couldn’t lock the game down when they needed to. Victor Hedman had a poor night, taking two penalties, including one at the most critical of times. Mikhail Sergachev also took a penalty and might face a suspension for an elbow to the head of Mitch Marner.
The bottom six forwards also got caved in by the Leafs fourth line of Spezza, Simmonds, and Ritchie. That’s where a lot of the big chances were. The top six did a good job at defending the Leafs top forwards, but they were really inconsistent in their personal offense, failing to get an insurance goal to ease the pressure.
In total, the Lightning had about 20 good minutes and the Leafs had 45, that was the difference and volume won out in the end.
Shoutout to Omar White for GIFing this game, he does a great job night in night out for Leafs games and his work is invaluable when we cover games at PPP, the sister site of RC.
Cirelli had a chance early in the game when he walked around Dermott. Palat had the next chance of the game when he had a rush chance from the wing. His initial pass to Cirelli got blocked by Liljegren, but he found the deflected puck quickly and nearly beat Campbell, who was drifting away from his post, but hit the post.
Bellemare thought he had scored from the left wing after a cross-ice pass from Joseph, but his shot hit the post. Bellemare put his arms in the air, certain he had scored, but the replay later showed it went off the corner of the post. So close.
ABB drew a tripping penalty on Kampf, giving the Lightning the first power play of the game. Unfortunately nothing really happened in either direction.
Maroon! After the third line iced the puck, the Leafs kept their fourth line out on the ice for some reason. That idea didn’t go well as the Lightning were able to catch the Leafs in a mistake and start a rush going the other way. Now, I’ll call the the rush in name alone as you couldn’t find 10 slower skaters on the team on the ice at that time. But still, Perry passed to Maroon and his shot beat Campbell. The assist was Perry’s first point for the Lightning in game 10 of the season, just like his number!
Pat Maroon puts the Lightning on the board pic.twitter.com/wMdYw9CDV0— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 4, 2021
them: do you know how to skate?— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 4, 2021
them: can you stop?
me: of course
me stopping: pic.twitter.com/gye2kRd2o2
And we love him :) (this came after a couple good chances for the Leafs).
Man, I forgot how annoying Vasilevskiy was— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 4, 2021
Marner got past Hedman for a break. Hedman made the most obvious hook in the world (obviously, because you don’t want him to have a breakaway) but then Sergachev cut across the ice with an elbow to Marner’s head. Not a good play by Sergachev there. After the dust settled, it was two minor penalties for Hedman and Sergachev and a full two minute 5-on-3.
#tblightning Mikhail Sergachev called for illegal check to the head on Mitch Marner and that causes a scrum, with Tavares going after him. Hedman also had hooking penalty, so Leafs have two minutes of a 5-on-3— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) November 4, 2021
Sergachev catches Marner in the head— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 4, 2021
Bad hit pic.twitter.com/lfcTUBVHts
Dangerous, unnecessary hit by Sergachev there on Marner. Curious if he sits for a while when second period starts.— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) November 4, 2021
In embarrassing fashion, the Leafs wasted the first 90 seconds of their power play wandering around the outside of the offensive zone and making lazy passes to each other. Marner got a perimeter shot, but Vasilevskiy smothered it up, that was the only chance for the first three quarters of the power play. The second unit came out, didn’t do much, and the power play was done.
I’ll be quite frank with that penalty kill — the Lightning didn’t do a single thing on it other than stand for a couple faceoffs — the Leafs killed themselves. No emotion after the hit, they got cute, thought they had all the time in the world. Ryan McDonagh stayed out the full two minutes and didn’t lift a finger, probably didn’t even break a sweat. Wow.
The Lightning were the better team in the first, with shot attempts in their favor 16-10. Scoring chances and expected goals were also at the same ratio. Beyond the Maroon goal, Killorn, Palat, and Cirelli had the best chances in the period. Killorn was right on a rebound at the side of the net but he shot it wide, leaving the ice frustrated with himself.
And I have to say the Sergachev hit warrants a suspension of a game, but who knows with DoPS nowadays, they might only fine him.
Vasilevskiy made some good saves on Nylander, Bunting, and Sandin. His positioning was on point and he was smothering the puck nicely. Cirelli then found Point in the offensive zone and Point nearly scored off a slapshot from the right faceoff circle.
The fourth lines had some more interesting moments as Joseph went for a skate and nearly got the puck through the chaos in front of the net, staying in the rebound for a half chance too. And then the puck went the other way with Ritchie passing to Simmonds, but Vasy robbed him with the knee of his pad.
The Leafs coaching swapped Nylander and Marner on the top two lines in the second period and somehow made both lines worse? The Matthews line stopped challenging Vasy, instead getting stuck at the top of the zone. Tavares and Nylander scared the Lightning a few times, but couldn’t break through for that “A” chance.
It was a bad period from the Lightning, as they were forced to get too focused on defending. They ended up not getting a shot on goal in over 12 minutes up to the last couple minutes of the period after Point stripped Sandin of the puck and fed Joseph for a point-blank shot in the blue paint.
Quite the period from the Big Cat. pic.twitter.com/IkUycjMLv6— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 5, 2021
Here’s my prediction for the third period. Hopefully I’m right!
Here's why the Lightning are so good. They just got shelled in the second period, but limited shots on goal and didn't give up anything. They're now going to make adjustments and score first in the third.— Hardev (@HardevLad) November 5, 2021
After not getting much in the second period, the Lightning had a couple chances early in the period, but once again the biggest chance came from the Leafs and Vasilevskiy made yet another save.
One Pass Too Many: A Toronto Maple Leafs Story— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) November 5, 2021
Just checking in this far down in the recap, the score is still 1-0 Lightning.
The Lightning then got the next two chances, first with Stamkos steaming up the middle and whipping a shot just high. And then a pinned Hedman found Point streaking behind the defense with a huge stretch pass. Point deked, but Campbell stopped Joseph on the rebound! So close.
The Leafs started giving up more behind them, this time Stamkos getting free to walk across the crease, but his shot to the far side got stopped by Campbell too.
Point had another shot with Cirelli right in front for yet another rebound, but Campbell stopped them both!
It was just river hockey for the middle 10 minutes of the third.
Colton and Bunting then got offsetting minors for having a bit of a dirty battle in front of the net with four minutes left in regulation. So half that time was at 4v4.
And with under a minute to go, Tavares scores on the 6-on-5 to tie the game, sending it to overtime. Hedman turned the puck over to Matthews when he was oh so close to the blueline, and then Sergachev missed Tavares in front of the net.
JOHN TAVARES— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 5, 2021
41 SECONDS TO GO! TIE GAME! pic.twitter.com/jG4qKJ2zqB
Andrei Vasilevskiy stole a point for the Lightning.
Jack Campbell stole a point for the Leafs.
After Stamkos walked around Marner for a breakaway on Campbell, Tavares got a breakaway past Hedman. Neither guy scored, but Hedman once again took a slashing penalty just as Tavares was shooting. C’mon Heddy, you can let Vasy save it.
Nylander got a slapshot on the power play, but Vasy stopped him. Marner dangled past the defense but hit the outside of the post on the short side with his shot. Then Tavares had a chance in front of the net a little bit later.
And finally William Nylander wins it with his third shot on the power play. Leafs get the extra point.