The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Tuesday night. Despite the Maple Leafs resting stars like Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, the blue and white were able to steal the full two points tonight in Tampa Bay. Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov was given the night off, leading to Joseph Woll getting the start. The 24-year-old goaltender played exceptionally well, making forty-five saves en route to the Maple Leafs victory.
In the first period, both teams came out with some good energy. The Tampa Bay Lightning came close early, but Joseph Woll shut the door. Around the 12:48 mark of the opening frame, Leafs star William Nylander scored his thirty-ninth of the season. Shortly after the Maple Leafs went ahead, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn tied the game. This was the 33-year-old’s twenty-seventh of the season, tying the game up at one apiece. Once the game was tied again, just over three minutes later, Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn scored his fourth of the season. The Toronto Maple Leafs took a two-to-one lead heading into the intermission.
Once the second frame was underway, the Tampa Bay Lightning came out hot. After peppering Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll early, Lightning defenseman Nick Perbix added his fifth of the season, tying the game at two. Once the Lightning tied the game, the blue and white started to find their rhythm as Maple Leafs forward Calle Järnkrok scored his twentieth of the season. The 31-year-old forward found a loose puck to the right of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky, putting it just over the leg of the 28-year-old. The Leafs had a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.
Once the third period was underway, you could really feel that sense of urgency from the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, after Leafs trade deadline acquisition Ryan O’Reilly buried a loose puck, the Maple Leafs had a two goal lead. Once the Leafs went up two, the Bolts were coming in waves at Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll, but they just couldn’t break through until a loose puck found its way to Mikhail Sergachev in the slot. The 24-year-old defenseman wristed one up high of Joseph Woll, making it 4-3. After trying all they could to tie the game, the blue and white just held on, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second game of a back-to-back.
In what was an early playoff preview of what’s to come next week, the Maple Leafs looked good for the most part despite playing on a back-to-back. The Toronto Maple Leafs last game of the regular season will come on Thursday as Toronto travels to New York for a battle with the Rangers. Thursday will be the final tune-up game for Toronto before the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin.
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