Game Five Preview and Game Day Thread: Lightning at Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs: Game 5 (Toronto leads 3-1)
Time: 7:00 P.M.
Location: Scotiabank Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, TBS, CBC, SN, TVAS
Opponent's Site: Pension Plan Puppets
This is it. Hopefully not the last one of the season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had two days off between Game 4's game in Tampa and Game 5 in Toronto. They chose to stay in Tampa Bay for those days – with home ice and home cooking to help them – before travelling on Wednesday (yesterday).
The Lightning also didn't practice on Tuesday following their OT loss to the Leafs. They had one practice before flying out on Wednesday and will have a morning skate in Toronto today. The lines from Wednesday morning are below, no changes to the lineup. Michael Eyssimont and Haydn Fleury were drawing in on rushes as Eyssimont works his way back to health. It's possible the Lightning go 11/7 tonight. We'll keep you updated on those developments.
Andrei Vasilevskiy spoke to the media yesterday (your move, Samsonov) and talked about the recent chatter around the Leafs new approach to beating him. Clearly something has been working because the Leafs have averaged nearly 5 goals a game on Vasy. You can read more on what sparked this discussion in our Lightning Round from this morning.
Someone get this man x-ray glasses!
Here's what Cooper had to say during his availability. He showed optimism and the chance to update the team's mindset now that elimination is on their horizon. By definition, the Lightning have only lost one elimination game in the past three seasons.
On the Toronto side, Michael Bunting is eligible to return to the Leafs lineup after serving his three-game suspension that knocked Erik Cernak (at this point) out of the series. Bunting, however, won't suit up for the Leafs tonight as Sheldon Keefe is scratching him, instead opting for the winning lineup he's been rolling out so far in this series.
Keefe's lineup isn't completely void of updates, as the lineup changes he implemented after the Lightning-heavy first period in Game 4 have been rolled over into tonight's game. William Nylander is back up with Matthews and Järnkrok, and rookie Matthew Knies is permanently in the top-six now. Defense and goaltending remains the same, although Matt Murray skated in practice as he works himself back from an injury suffered late in the season.
Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines
Steven Stamkos - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn
Ross Colton - Nick Paul - Tanner Jeannot
Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry
Victor Hedman - Nick Perbix
Mikhail Sergachev - Darren Raddysh
Ian Cole - Zach Bogosian
Toronto Maple Leafs Potential Lines
Calle Jarnkrok - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Matthew Knies - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Alex Kerfoot - Ryan O'Reilly - Noel Acciari
Zach Aston-Reese - David Kampf - Sam Lafferty
Morgan Rielly - Luke Schenn
TJ Brodie - Jake McCabe
Mark Giordano - Justin Holl