Post-Game Analysis: Leafs Lose 4-2 to Lightning in Game 5

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nicholas Paul (20) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with forward Michael Eyssimont (23) and forward Ross Colton (79) during the third period of Game 5 Thursday night in Toronto.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nicholas Paul (20) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with forward Michael Eyssimont (23) and forward Ross Colton (79) during the third period of Game 5 Thursday night in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 in Game 5! In what looked like a promising night for Leafs fans early, the Tampa Bay Lightning bounced right back, stealing one on the road. Bolts goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky was strong, helping the group’s efforts in sending this one back to Tampa Bay. 

In the opening period, the Tampa Bay Lightning came out blazing, generating chances early. However, once the Maple Leafs started to find their stride, veteran defenseman Morgan Rielly opened the scoring. After a beautiful pass in the slot by captain John Tavares, Morgan Rielly took the puck and rifled one over the glove of Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky. Once the Leafs took an early 1-0 lead, the Bolts bounced right back nearly thirty seconds later. Lightning’s Anthony Cirelli scored his third of the series after a loose puck at the top of the Maple Leafs crease was put into the goal. The score was tied at one apiece heading into intermission.

In the second period of this one, the Tampa Bay Lightning yet again came out strong to kick off the period. After generating a few looks but not capitalizing, Lightning forward Michael Eyssimont cut around Leafs defenseman Justin Holl, driving the net, which resulted in a goal. After Michael Eyssimont gave the Bolts a 2-1 lead only 4:23 into the period, Tampa didn’t take their foot off the gas as the Lightning came in waves at Toronto. After a fairly disappointing and low event period for the home side, we were heading into the third period with the Lightning ahead by one.

In the third period of Game 5, the Toronto Maple Leafs finally started a period off strong. However, Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky was locked in. After a power-play opportunity for the Maple Leafs was unable to be converted, the Lightning began to find their legs once again, leading to a goal. Mississauga, Ontario native Nick Paul scored his first of the series, finishing a rebound in front. Once the Lightning went ahead 3-1 late, the Maple Leafs began throwing everything at the Lightning goal, hoping to eventually find an equalizer. After a few opportunities were shut down, Leafs star Auston Matthews buried a loose puck to make it close late. However, once the clock started to chip away, Lightning forward Alex Killorn scored an empty-netter, finishing off the Maple Leafs 4-2 in Game 5.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to advance once again on Saturday night. Despite leading the series up 3-2, the vibe around the city of Toronto is a little tense making it a unique situation. Yes, the Maple Leafs track record isn’t exactly encouraging, but my belief and confidence in this group hasn’t changed a bit, and neither should yours. Saturday is going to be one awesome hockey game. Make sure you don’t miss out! 

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

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Joshua Anselmo

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

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