The Tampa Bay Lightning kicked off their defense of the Stanley Cup with a resounding and disheartening loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Scotiabank Arena on Monday night. Auston Matthews led the way with two goals and an assist as the home team dominated play in pretty much every aspect of the game. Mitch Marner, David Kampf and Jake Muzzin scored for Toronto while Jack Campbell stopped all 23 shots he faced. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 29 of 34 in the loss.
Both team had ample power play opportunities as the referees called a tight game. Tampa went 0-for-5 with the extra skater while Toronto converted on one of their eight opportunities (it was on a 5-on-3) and added a shorthanded goal.
Tampa pressured early and had a chance to take the lead when Kyle Clifford was assessed a game misconduct for boarding Ross Colton.
Unfortunately, for them the Toronto penalty kill dominated the five minute penalty, producing several chances while the Lightning special teams unit was unable to get set up in the zone. Toronto followed up their successful shorthanded stint with a power play on of their own. While they didn’t score with the extra skater, it did set them up for the first goal of the game.
Jake Muzzin (Ondrej Kase, Ilya Mikheyev) 1-0 Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay made it to the break down just one thanks to a superb save by Vasilevskiy on William Nylander with only nine seconds left on the clock. Things did not improve in the middle frame as a couple of bad penalties in a row lead to a 5-on-3 for the Maple Leafs. They did not fail to take advantage.
Auston Matthews (Mitch Marner, John Tavares) Power Play 2-0 Maple Leafs
The Lightning continued to have chances with the extra skater, but had trouble dealing with the high pressure from the Maple Leaf penalty killers. A bad bounce led to a shorthanded breakaway and David Kampf converted.
The puck hit the ref behind the net and Victor Hedman, who was charging hard to the boards, was caught out of position. Hedman tried to disrupt the shot with a dive, but Kampf eluded him and finished it.
David Kampf (unassisted) Shorthanded, 3-0 Maple Leafs
Tampa improved their play a bit following the goal, but a major breakdown off of a rush led to the fourth goal and pretty much salted the game away in the second period. Poor coverage in front of the net coupled with Vasilevskiy biting hard on the Marner shoulder fake led to a fairly easy goal.
Mitch Marner (Morgan Reilly, Auston Matthews) 4-0 Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews added a goal in the third to finish off the the scoring.
Auston Matthews (Ondrej Kase, Morgan Reilly) 5-0 Maple Leafs
With the game out of reach, the scrums started on the ice. A line brawl at the 10:09 mark led to 8 misconducts being handed out to the two teams.
The two teams will meet again on Wednesday for Game Two. Matt will have more thoughts on the game tomorrow in his Morning After Thoughts.