Recap: Seven for in Game 1, Seven against in Game 2
The Toronto Maple Leafs got back at the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 7-2 blowout in Game #2 of their first round series to tie the series at 1-1.
The Toronto Maple Leafs got back at the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 7-2 blowout in Game 2 of their first round series to tie the series at 1-1. John Tavares scored a hat trick, while Ilya Samsonov only had to face 21 shots in front of an exuberant crowd in Toronto. Morgan Rielly also recorded four assists in the game.
Ian Cole and Corey Perry scored for the Lightning, while Andrei Vasilevskiy was in net for all seven goals against while facing 37 shots. The Lightning were without Victor Hedman, Erik Cernak, and Michael Eyssimont due to Game 1 injuries, while Tanner Jeannot made his return to the lineup in the bottom six. Michael Bunting sat for the first of his three-game suspension and Matthew Knies took his spot.
It was a bad night for the Lightning's middle six – the expected weak spot on the Bolts – as they got killed by the Leafs at 5v5. The Anthony Cirelli line went up against Matthews for most of the night and was -1 and below water in shots (5-7), but they were especially run over by Tavares' line (0-5 in shots, -1). The Nick Paul third line got their worst beating against the Ryan O'Reilly third line, but got scored on by the Tavares second line again.
The Leafs adjustment to have three balanced lines worked in this game. You might see the Lightning switch to a balanced lineup with Steven Stamkos on the second line once they get home.
If the storyline from the first game was the Leafs shooting themselves in the foot and the Lightning running away laughing, this game was a shorthanded Lightning team getting thoroughly overwhelmed by a Leafs team at the top of their game.
One final note before we get into the "highlights" and it's the penalties. The power plays were an even 2-2 for most of the game, but only in the second half of the third period did the Lightning start taking penalties and getting game misconducts.
Zach Bogosian and Mark Giordano fought in the first period. There were no penalties in the second. Then in the third, Luke Schenn and Tanner Jeannot fought, as well as Corey Perry and Justin Holl. Mikhail Sergachev got kicked from the game for jumping into a scrum late. Then Pat Maroon got a misconduct for hitting William Nylander away from the puck. The referees were trying to not let things escalate, especially since the fans in Toronto were pushing on the glass in the penalty box when Perry and Maroon were in it. One guy in yellow (who I'm sure will be a celebrity in the city) tried to fight Jeannot. Lol.
Anyway, all that was Tampa's method of "pushing back" when doing it on the scoreboard wasn't possible. Hopefully it helps them get going for the next game, because there was no real point of it in the game that was happening presently, other than to puff out the chests of Leafs fans even more.
At the end of the day, Game 1's win was just a win, and this loss is just a loss. Doesn't matter by how many you lose by, what matters is how you respond the next game. And that next game is on Saturday at 7pm in Amalie Arena.
Here's the goal and period "highlights". You're not going to like this one...
Shoutout to TicTacTOmar (Omar White) on Twitter for sharing highlights from the game and goals from the opponent's side.
Mitch Marner stole the puck at the offensive blueline from Perbix and drew a tripping penalty from Cole. He then took the shot off the won faceoff and beat Vasilevskiy five-hole. A tough start for the Lightning as they lost the all-important early lead.
Bogosian and Giordano had a "fight" but it was pretty short.
A somewhat weak call on Knies would send the Lightning to the power play shortly after falling behind. I say weak call because I would be pretty upset if a Bolt got called for that. Samsonov made two saves and Holl had to block a shot as the Lightning got three chances on their first man advantage.
The Lightning got a second power play when Jake McCabe took a second punch attempt on Perry after a whistle. Kucherov's shot once again blocked by Holl. Kuch's second shot missed short side and cleared itself out of the zone.
Tavares doubled the lead after a low-high pass from Rielly after a faceoff. The Lightning had guys in position, but somehow the puck got through and under the arm of Vasilevskiy. Brandon Hagel had to take the faceoff because Cirelli got pulled and he couldn't keep up with Tavares as he went to the net then bounced back for some space.
Salt in the wound. Stamkos takes a double minor high sticking on McCabe, but on the 6v5 with the Leafs goalie pulled, Nylander scores. The Leafs got a 3-0 lead and headed to the power play at the same time. Note that Matthews shot the puck off Vasilevskiy's mask on the shift before Nylander scored off it.
The Leafs didn't score on their second power play opportunity of the game.
It was a good start for the Lightning as they led in shots and got two power plays, but they failed to capitalize, allowing the Leafs to extend their lead at 5v5 and 6v5. Shots were +11 in Tampa's favour before the Tavares goal, but it ended -2 by the end. Also the score.
Cole got the Lightning back into the game with a deke past Holl and around Samsonov. This goal came against the tide as Toronto was all over the Lightning's zone in the five minutes before this goal, including eight scoring chances. But it was the Lightning that got the goal to make it 3-1 instead of 4-0. As the play developed, Cole knocked O'Reilly down, opening up the odd-man advantage. Nylander got pushed to the wrong skater, too.
Tavares would score again from Rielly for a second time. Nylander had the initial tip on net, and it was Tavares who put it high. The Lightning got overpowered by the second line yet again.
And then the fifth goal of the night came from the fourth line, Zach Aston-Reese burying the puck in front of the net. The first line showed their poor defense on this play, none of them were on the right side of the puck.
Marner got his second of the game with this long shot that got tipped in front by Hagel. At this point the game was done, so having this goal go off our own guy was just comedy.
There's a whole another period after this? The Lightning had barely a handful of shots for most of this period, and finished it down -8. With the long change, it was a heavily offensive period, with four goals scored and 44 total shots take, unfortunately three goals were for the Leafs.
Perry with a clever goal in the third (garbage time) as Samsonov tried to stack the pads. Good awareness from the veteran to take something off the shot to get it in the right place.
Tavares got his hat trick, the first of his career, taking the puck to the net and having Vasilevskiy knock it in himself. This goal came during a 5v3 as the Lightning were in their "penalty taking" mode at the end of a blowout.
Vasilevskiy stole one from O'Reilly in the final minutes.