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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay fail to take a lead in the first-round series against Toronto

The Syracuse Crunch started the North Division Semifinals with a win

NHL: MAY 06 Playoffs Round 1 Game 3 - Maple Leafs at Lightning Photo by Andrew Bershaw /Icon_Sportswire

The Tampa Bay Lightning couldn’t maintain the momentum after the last game and dropped Game Three against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night. The Bolts attempted a comeback after trailing 3-0 to Toronto in the middle of the second period, managing to cut the lead to one goal, but allowed two empty-net goals at the end of the game [Raw Charge]

In their first playoff game at Amalie Arena since raising the Stanley Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning couldn’t overcome a sluggish start and dropped Game Three to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-2, before a sold-out home crowd. Toronto built a 2-0 lead on first period goals by Morgan Reilly and Colin Blackwell. David Kampf made it 3-0 early in the second before Ross Colton connected on a power play goal midway through the period. Ondrej Palat cut the Toronto lead to one in the the third before Ilya Mikheyev salted the game away with two empty net goals late.

Jon Cooper wasn’t pleased with last night outcome, he appreciated the team’s third-period effort, but mentioned that “we can sit here and pat ourselves on the back all day long and say, ‘Hey, great job pushing at the end‘“, saying that they need to take positives out of the game and move on.

Coach Cooper wasn’t also satisfied with the Lightning’s lack of discipline. The Bolts were penalized 15 times over three playoff games.

Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman also agreed that the team need to stay out of the box if they want to advance to the second round. Stamkos also complimented team’s performance at 5-on-5 at the second half of the game, saying that they need to stick with it.

Ross Colton, one of the Lightning’s goal scorers in this game, think that the Bolts could have won this game, if they were a little bit more lucky.

The Leafs have now taken a 2-1 lead in the series after Game Three. The series will continue tomorrow at Amalie Arena. The Lightning and Andrei Vasilevskiy are 15-0 in games after losses over the last three postseasons.

Meanwhile the NHL updated the schedule for the series between the Lightning and the Leafs, setting a start time for Game 5 in Toronto for 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

The view from the other side [Pension Plan Puppets]

It was a gutsy game. Tampa controlled the game slightly, but consistently at even strength. They started pushing more in the third, and/or the Leafs conceded them more space to play it safe. The third line was great, their penalty kill was great, but Jack Campbell was the difference maker. He made several HUGE saves when it mattered — at the start of the game while they built their lead, and down the stretch when Tampa had more chances to tie it.

Lightning Links

The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Laval Rocket in Game One of the North Division Semifinals, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. Max Lagace stopped 28 out of 31 shots, Anthony Richards led the team with two goals. The series will continue tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse.

Yesterday’s Games

Carolina Hurricanes 2, Boston Bruins 4 — CAR leads 2-1

The Bruins bounced back after two losses on the road, defeating the Canes 4-2 on the home ice. Jeremy Swayman recorded 25 saves, earning his first ever Stanley Cup Playoff win. Brad Marchand scored a goal and added two assists, while David Pastrnak and Charlie Coyle each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins.

The recap from Stanley Cup of Chowder:

The Boston Bruins took Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at the TD Garden, as their special teams capitalized twice on the power play, added a shorthanded tally and had an impactful night on the penalty kill.

Jeremy Swayman also made 25 saves in his first postseason start of his career, including many timely saves in the second period.

The recap from Canes Country:

The Canes didn’t quite have it, as disastrous special teams play doomed Carolina. The Bruins scored two of their four goals on the power play, while also adding a shorthanded goal in the first period. As for the Hurricanes, Carolina went 0 for 5 with the man advantage.

Special teams have been an overall strength of the Canes all season, as Carolina boasted one of the best penalty kills in NHL history while also posting a top-10 power play during the regular season. But Friday night, the special teams play cost the Hurricanes a chance to win the game.

Minnesota Wild 5, St. Louis Blues 1 — MIN leads 2-1

Minnesota took a lead in the series after beating St. Louis in Game Three on Friday night. Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves for the win, Kiril Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek each recorded a goal and an assist. Ryan O’Reilly scored the only goal for the Blues.

The recap from Hockey Wilderness:

With a 4-0 lead, the Blues’ fate tonight was more or less sealed. In true, annoying O’Reilly fashion, Ryan O’Reilly got the goal to break Fleury’s shutout a couple of minutes after Eriksson Ek’s. But with an empty-net goal from Jonas Brodin in response to a very aggressive goalie pull by Craig Berube near the seven-minute mark of the third, the Wild coasted to their second victory in a row and their first lead of the series.

Edmonton Oilers 8, Los Angeles Kings 2 — EDM leads 2-1

The Oilers destroyed the Kings defence in front of their own fans in Game Three on Friday night and took a 2-1 lead in the series. Evander Kane scored a hat-trick and now leads all the players in the NHL in playoff in goals. Seven Edmonton players had a multiple-points night, Mike Smith recorded 44 saves on the night.

The recap from Copper and Blue:

The Edmonton Oilers (1-1-0) were in Los Angeles for Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals on Friday night. Edmonton absolutely smashed the Kings (1-1-0) in game 2, hanging a half dozen on veteran G Jonathan Quick thanks to one of their most complete performances of the season. Edmonton was sterling on Wednesday night, with every Oiler sporting a ~53% xGF or better. Mike Smith backed up his charges with a 30-save shutout, too. Could Edmonton back up one of their best games in recent (and not-so-recent) memory with another complete effort under the bright lights of LA?

Today’s Games

Florida Panthers @ Washington Capitals — tied 1-1

1:00 PM ET; ESPN, TVAS, SN, NBCSWA, BSFL

Colorado Avalanche @ Nashville Predators — COL leads 2-0

4:30 PM ET; TNT, TVAS, SN, BSSO, ALT

New York Rangers @ Pittsburgh Penguins — tied 1-1

7:00 PM ET; TNT, CBC, TVAS, SN, ATTSN-PT, MSG

Calgary Flames @ Dallas Stars — tied 1-1

9:30 PM ET; TNT, CBC, TVAS, SN, BSSW