NHL playoffs: Another desolation in Toronto, the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2nd round

Saturday, May 14, 2022. 6:53 PM
(Update : Saturday, May 14, 2022. 9:42 PM)


The fate of the Toronto Maple Leafs remains unchanged. The Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated the Canadian team in the seventh and final game of the first round series.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions won 2-1 on Saturday. They haven’t lost a series since being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2019.

For the Maple Leafs, this is another hard-to-swallow failure. The team was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round for the sixth consecutive year. The Torontonians haven’t won a series and haven’t won a Game 7 since 2004.

The Lightning opened the scoring late in the first period, just 1 minute after losing the services of Brayden Point, who writhed in pain when his right leg seemed to make a false move. He got up on his own but retreated to the locker room putting weight on one leg.

The Lightning responded in the best possible way by scoring the first goal. Jack Campbell saved Ross Colton’s shot with the pad but Nick Paul, who was acquired at the trade deadline, clawed back the rebound for his first career playoff goal.

Point was back for the start of the second period. He made a presence on the ice but returned with difficulty and could not continue his evening of work. He remained on the bench for the rest of the match.

“Our group is all about everyone wanting to be in the fight,” Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said of teammate Point. It doesn’t matter how many rink appearances you get or if you don’t play at all. His presence on the bench… was a great source of motivation. It does a lot of good. We’re a very tight-knit group, we’ve been through a lot together and it’s a great feeling. »

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John Tavares thought he had tied the game when he beat Andrei Vasilevsky, but the goal was overturned when Justin Holl was penalized at the same time for obstruction.

The Leafs recovered with 6:35 remaining in the second period when Morgan Rielly tied the game 1-1, for real this time, with help from Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

Three minutes later, however, the Lightning took the lead thanks to the second goal of Nick Paul, who made fun of the defense and especially the laxity of TJ Brodie.

“There are players like Paulie who weren’t there for the last two years,” Stamkos added. It’s the motivation. Let’s give these guys a chance to win a Cup. Once you put on the Bolts uniform… I mean, we know what we’ve accomplished in the last two years, but it’s really a new year. It will be harder than ever, as we have seen with this series. It was a good start here. »

“I played with my heart,” said Paul. I had chances. Tonight they fell in. But those are the games that happened around. Everyone brought their game, everyone was ready, everyone was confident. We knew we had to win this game. And we got together and we did it. »

The Leafs outshot 17-6 in the third period and had several chances to tie the game, but were unsuccessful. Vasilevskiy did a good job during the encounter with 30 saves, but the Russian mostly stood out during this period.

His players also did a good job in front of him. The Tampa Bay team notably ran out a penalty in the first half of the engagement and closed the door when the Leafs buzzed after removing their goalie.

ContentId(3.1406742):NHL Playoffs: Lightning Resist; streak stretches to 18 (hockey)


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Also defeated 4-3 in overtime Thursday by the Lightning, the Leafs have missed a 10th consecutive opportunity to eliminate an opponent. That’s on top of the three from last year, when the Torontonians squandered a 3-1 lead against the Canadiens in the first round.

The Leafs, who haven’t etched their name on the Stanley Cup in 55 years, haven’t won a series since 2004. That streak of playoff failures was marred by several slumps, including a Game 7 fumble in 2013 against the Bruins as they led 4-1 with 11 minutes left in regulation.

Good player, Stamkos still paid tribute to his rivals after the meeting.

“It’s a great hockey team,” Stamkos said. They have all the cards in hand. It’s just not easy. We’ve had a few failures in the past and you move on and you just have to get over that bump. That is the problem. Sometimes it gets mental. It’s certainly not because they don’t deserve it. They deserve it. It was probably one of the toughest series we’ve played. They have everything. It’s just that we also believed in ourselves. »

The Lightning are trying to become the first team to lift the Stanley Cup three years in a row since the New York Islanders between 1980 and 1983.

ContentId(3.1406735):NHL playoffs: Brayden Point leaves in pain (hockey)


ContentId(3.1406736):NHL playoffs: Nick Paul jumps a rebound to open the scoring (hockey)


ContentId(3.1406738):NHL playoffs: John Tavares ties the game…oh no! Leafs Penalty! (hockey)


ContentId(3.1406739):NHL playoffs: Morgan Rielly finds the opening, Scotiabank Arena shakes! (hockey)


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ContentId(3.1406740):NHL playoffs: Nick Paul mocks TJ Brodie and sends Tampa forward (hockey)


“There are many reasons to be devastated and frustrated”

“Words fail me. It’s very disappointing”