Post-Game Analysis: Leafs Drop Game 1 to Lightning 7-3 at Scotiabank Arena

Leafs Goaltender Ilya Samsonov Locked in Prior to Game
Leafs Goaltender Ilya Samsonov Locked in Prior to Game Photo credit: Toronto Maple Leafs

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After the city of Toronto was as confident as we’ve seen in a while heading into the postseason, Tuesday night’s defeat was indeed a wake-up call as the Lightning showed just how good they can truly be. Despite this loss being as harsh as one could imagine for Leafs Nation, it is still only Game 1. 

In the opening period, the Tampa Bay Lightning came out strong right off the opening face-off. Only 1:18 into the first period of the series, Lightning veteran forward Pierre-Édouard Bellemare buried a loose puck making it 1-0 Tampa early. After the Lightning’s shocking early goal, they didn’t stop there as forward Anthony Cirelli scored the Bolts second of the game around six minutes later. Just when it looked like the Maple Leafs were finally settling into this one, Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov scored his first of the playoffs on the power play with barely any time remaining in the first. The Lightning went into the first intermission up by three stunning Scotiabank Arena and Leafs fans around the world.

The second period of Game 1 was certainly the best period for the Leafs in this one. Although it wasn’t perfect by any means, especially midway through, the blue and white certainly showed signs of a comeback. After Leafs Ryan O’Reilly and teammate William Nylander both scored power-play goals, the score was now 3-2. However, the comeback didn’t last too long after penalty trouble put the Leafs out of reach in this one. After William Nylander’s goal, the Lightning scored three unanswered to end the middle frame. Tampa Bay star Brayden Point scored twice, and his teammate Corey Perry scored the other. The Lightning went into the second intermission up 6-2. 

As the third period got underway, 24-year-old Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll replaced his goaltending partner Ilya Samsonov. After giving up six goals on twenty-nine shots, Ilya Samsonov watched the rest of Game 1 from the bench. Despite trailing 6-2 late in this one, the Toronto Maple Leafs started to look a lot better than what we saw to end the second period. However, almost seven minutes into the period, Lightning forward Ross Colton added a seventh goal for Tampa Bay. Once the score was 7-2, the fans that were still in Scotiabank Arena began heading for the exits. Before the final horn could go, Leafs forward Calle Järnkrok scored. The 31-year-old’s goal was assisted by Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews as Järnkrok filled in for Bunting on the Leafs top line. Once the score was 7-3 in favor of the Tampa Bay Lightning, both sides played out the remainder of the clock leading to a Lightning win in impressive fashion. 

Last night was certainly a stinker from the Toronto Maple Leafs, but don’t start panicking just yet. This series was never going to be a short one. The Lightning are a strong opponent and surely will push the Maple Leafs to be at their absolute best. It’s important to note that Leafs forward Michael Bunting will likely be getting a suspension, which should be monitored as we approach Game 2. I’d expect Ilya Samsonov to get a redemption shot on Thursday, hopefully backstopping the blue and white to a home victory.

Thanks for reading! For more Leafs content, follow me on Twitter at ITR_Anselmo.

The Future Is _______ Leafs Late Night

WELCOME BACK TO LEAFS LATE NIGHT! Presented by Inside The RinkRoscoe / Galaxy Biehn – Dubas Out?!?- Remember All The Good Times We Shared- I Don't Love Our Options- Matthews Next Deal?- Keefe's Fate- AI MascotsSPORTS! IS FUNMERCH IS AVAILABLE!JOIN OUR DISCORD!Remember to follow us on Twitter @LeafsLateNight & IG @LeafsLateNightCheck out Mike, Josh, and Nathan's articles on the Leafs + many more!
  1. The Future Is _______
  2. Appreciation in Leafs Nation – RD2 GAME 5
  3. WonderWoll – RD2 GAME 4
  4. Frustration in Leafs Nation – RD2 GAME 3
  5. Goalied or Blew It? RD2 GAME 1+2

Joshua Anselmo

A hockey mind that's always looking at new and insightful ways to bring different perspectives of the game we all love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stanley Cup on display on ice

NHL: A Hater’s Guide to the Stanley Cup Final

If you’re finding it difficult to get behind the Panthers or Golden Knights, here are a few reasons to cheer against them. If you’re a Florida Panthers or Vegas Golden Knights fan, you have every reason to tune in when the Stanley Cup Final begins on June 3. You’re one of the lucky ones whose team made it. […]

Read More

Questions Ahead as Championship Duo Enters Pivotal 23-24 Season

The formidable ‘Holy Trinity’ in hockey is a team that covets a: world-class goaltender, defenseman, and centerman. It is a recipe that has a proven track record, with the 2012-14 championship era LA Kings as a perfect example. They weren’t a juggernaut regular season team but were systematic in a seven-game series. The Kings won […]

Read More

2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Jakub Dvorak

The Scouting Report: Jakub Dvorak from Liberec, Czechzia, born on May 25th, 2005, is your typical shutdown defenseman in the 2023 NHL entry draft. What will draw Jakub Dvorak some major interest come draft day is his size. Listed at 6’5″ and 203 pounds, you don’t typically find players with his size and skillset available […]

Read More