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Quick Cap: Lightning steal Game 2 on the road, series tied heading to Tampa Bay

Home ice is now in Tampa’s hands

Tampa Bay Lightnig v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Two
TORONTO, ON - MAY 4: Victor Hedman #77 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during Game Two of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on May 4, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning won Game Two on the road over the Toronto Maple Leafs, tying the first round series at one game apiece. The series now heads back to Florida with home ice advantage now in favor of Tampa Bay. Not only did the Lightning win the game, but they also showed the Leafs that they’re not what they were in Game One, and that they can be the better, more complete blue team in the league.

Victor Hedman scored a goal and had four points in the 5-3 win, with Nikita Kucherov scoring and getting two assists in a big night for the Bolts power play. Brandon Hagel, Corey Perry, and Brayden Point all scored as well in the win. Andrei Vasilevskiy was unstoppable for most of the game, but a late push from the Leafs left him with 31 saves on 34 shots.

The Leafs got goals from Michael Bunting, Mitch Marner, and Alex Kerfoot, with Jack Campbell allowing five goals on an identical 34 shots as Vasilevskiy.

Three Stars

Third Star - Brandon Hagel

A goal on four shots, and the team leader in individual expected goals. He also drew two key penalties in a game where the Lightning used their power play to great advantage.

I would’ve given this to Vasy if not for the two goals late in the game. He didn’t give up more than he had to, but the goals made the last 10 minutes of game a lot more stressful than it probably should’ve been.

Second Star - Nikita Kucherov

Three points and the captain steering a rejuvenated power play. His playmaking forced the Leafs to respect him in every direction. They couldn’t cover them all and that led to the two goals.

First Star - Victor Hedman

Four points, three primary, all coming in crucial moments in the game. He also finished +4 in shot differential and was a big catalyst for the Lightning offense as always.

First Period

1-0

Hedman opened the scoring very late in the first period, rejuvenating the power play that struggled so much the previous night. Killorn got the assist for the initial pass into the slot for Kucherov, but a scrum caused the puck to pop loose right to Hedman after he rotated down. Campbell tried to stack the pads, but Hedman was nice and patient with his shot.

After One

The Bolts got out-shot in the first period (12-15), as well as expected goals (33%), but Hedman made a difference with the goal to give the Bolts the early lead.

Second Period

Vasilevskiy was showing the leather in the second period after a fairly even first. He flashed Timothy Liljegren early in the second in what could’ve been a sure-fire goal for the Leafs.

2-0

After Vasy made that save, Perry got the goal the other way, doubling the lead. Hedman got his second primary point with the stretch pass as the Leafs were changing. Ilya Lyubushkin was late coming back onto the ice and left that whole area open as the Leafs were covering the wings.

2-1

Michael Bunting brought the Leafs back within one midway through the second period. Matthews won the puck along the boards, pushed it across to Marner, who set up Bunting. Bunting was out of the lineup for a few weeks, including Game One.

3-1

Kucherov came back with another power play goal — also assisted from Hedman — restoring the two-goal lead. Hedman got Kuch some room to skate into the middle of the ice where he beat Muzzin to release the puck, finding the top corner to boot. The Bolts had figured out the Leafs penalty kill very quickly.

After Two

The Bolts extended their lead as they came on stronger than the Leafs. Shots were still in favor of Toronto (14-16), but the expected goals were in the Bolts favor (55%). An extra power play goal was the difference again.

Third Period

4-1

A lot of the narratives were around how the Leafs were going to come back in the third. They were still in with a chance, but that chance was put to rest with Hagel’s goal early in the period. The Leafs were stretching themselves thin as they pushed for offense, leaving the other direction completely open. A bad pinch decision for Auston Matthews caused this clear-cut break. The rookie Timothy Liljegren also didn’t get on the inside of his guy.

5-1

Point on the power play gave the Lightning some more insurance just in case, and scoring five after the Leafs put up five the other night. The Bolts completely broke apart the middle of the Leafs penalty kill, giving Point an easy chance from the slot. Kucherov found him with a quick pass. Hedman got the secondary assist.

5-2

A shot through a screen for Mitch Marner brought the Leafs back within three, but with only eight minutes to go. His shot actually went off the heel of his stick, dribbling past the layers of bodies and Vasy’s left pad along the ice.

5-3

The Bolts thought they had put it away, but the Leafs scored another shorty to make it a two-goal game with four minutes left. Brodie got a breakaway, spun, and found Kerfoot following up.

Matthews drew a penalty on Point, and Jack Campbell went to the bench with two and a half minutes to go in regulation. Vasy stopped Matthews with the shaft of his stick on a shot from distance. The Lightning stacked four guys at the line to keep them out of the Bolts zone.

With less than a minute left, Matthews had another chance. And then a shot-pass for Marner. 10 seconds left. Game over.