The Tampa Bay Lightning have forced a game seven and I’m not happy about it. In a game that ended up going to overtime, the Leafs gave up their chance to close the series with a loss to the Lightning.
It started whenTampa took an early lead with the lone goal of the first period. Ondrej Palat opened the scoring late in that first frame but the second was where things got interesting.
Ten minutes into the second, the Lightning doubled their lead with a short-handed goal. It was looking like things were not going Toronto’s way. That’s when Auston Matthews and John Tavares stepped in.
Matthews grabbed Toronto’s first goal just under a minute after the Lightning’s short-handed goal. That’s his 4th goal of the playoffs so far. The Leafs fought back to try and get another goal but it wasn’t until the dying seconds of the second period that Tavares could take some time to shine. He scored one goal with 34 seconds remaining before keeping the fire going with his second goal just 26 seconds later! He capped off the second by stealing the lead right in those final seconds.
As the halfway mark of the third period crept near, the Leafs did their best to keep the lead but Kucherov grabbed a power-play goal to tie things up. Despite that, no one could do more than that in what was supposed to be the final third period. It took until Point scored for the Lightning in the dying seconds of overtime to bookend the game and steal the Tampa Bay victory.
With that goal, the Lightning have sealed the deal on their fate. They’ll now take on the Maple Leafs in a Saturday night battle to the death. The Leafs have been in this situation multiple times, as close as last season. They can definitely come back from this. They just need to pull out one more win to kill the Lightning and break a haunting streak of not making it out of the first round of playoffs. This team can do it and I’m not giving up on them. Let’s go Leafs!
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Featured Image: Toronto Maple Leafs Twitter