The Bullets defeated the Maple Leafs by defeating Potts Points in the final match of the series in Toronto |  CBC Sports

The Bullets defeated the Maple Leafs by defeating Potts Points in the final match of the series in Toronto | CBC Sports

The Maple Leafs did everything they could to drive out a long list of match demons.

Toronto struggled from another 2-0 deficit on Thursday to take the lead before the third game of Game Six, putting the two-time Stanley Cup champions on the ropes.

Then disaster struck with a pair of heavy penalties in quick succession to give Lightning a double advantage.

He wouldn’t miss Tampa Bay, then Brayden Point did what he seems to always do in the post-season — step up in the big moments.

The winger scored in 18:04 of overtime as the Lightning beat the Leafs 4-3 to force them into a decisive seventh game in the first-round series.

A clutch point performance during Tampa’s title runs, he softened the winning goal on the goal line on a bounce between the legs of goalkeeper Jack Campbell after Alex Killorn took the first shot in an extra period that was tilted sharply in Toronto’s favour.

The play began after Auston Matthews, the Leafs’ sniper, who sparked his team’s comeback with a goal midway through the second half, lost an advantage in the neutral zone, allowing Lightning to break through in the other direction.

“Our guys played hard,” said Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe. “There’s not much between the two teams. I liked the way we played in extra time. We attacked, we had chances and lots of chances to finish, and we didn’t really give them anything.

“They have perfected their one look…that’s the difference.”

Toronto, which hasn’t moved into the second round since 2004 and is now 0-8 in elimination matches over its last five playoff games, now heads home to host Game 7 on Saturday with historical weight and expectations hanging around it. collective neck.

“What’s in the past is in the past,” Matthews said. “We can’t change anything now. It’s about the next match, coming out with a goal, details and just competing for 60 minutes or whatever it takes.

“We just have to put [everything] on the line and get started on it.”

Watch | Score points winner in overtime to force the game 7:

Lightning Force Game 7 on overtime winner

Brayden Point scored late in the overtime opener to give Lightning a 4-3 win in Game Six over the Maple Leafs, leading to Game 7 in Toronto.

Ondrej Palat, Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov scored the other goals for the Lightning team, who have improved to 17-0 after a post-season loss since 2020.

“We know all we’ve done is buy ourselves another chance to continue the season,” said Point, who scored his second goal in the series. “On entering their building, their crowd was swaying.”

Andrei Vasilevsky stopped 30 rounds, while Point also got the assist.

“No surprise,” said Stephen Stamkos, captain of the Lightning. “With Pointer, it’s his time of year.”

John Tavares scored two goals for Toronto, which saved 31 balls from Campbell. William Nylander added two passes.

The Leafs won 7-2 all-time at home in the 7s, but lost at a mostly empty Scotiabank Arena last season after leading 3-1 in the series against the Montreal Canadiens.

“We’ve worked hard all year to earn the right to have ice at home,” Toronto defender Morgan Riley said. “It’s now an opportunity to implement that.”

Toronto’s last win in Game 7 at Hockey’s biggest market was 18 years ago – the team’s last victory – when Joe Newendyk scored twice to defeat the Ottawa Senators.

“We looked at us at Orascom Telecom, and unfortunately we weren’t the only ones buying,” Tavares said. “That’s what the game is about. We have to move on from here, regroup and look forward to the opportunity to go home.”

Vasilevskiy has won every one of the contests that make up Tampa’s record 17-0 after losing in the last three playoffs, making a 0.942 savings percentage with five closes.

Fans react outside Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena after the Maple Leafs lost overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the first-round series on Thursday. (Alex Lopol/CBC)

2019 Vezina Cup winner and last season’s Conn Smythe Trophy winner wasn’t his usual character in the series – his saves are 0.885 – but she was good enough on the night, including nine extra period stops.

“We did a lot of good things, but we just couldn’t get the job done,” Matthews said. “Now we’re going home with another chance to finish a streak – do or die.

“Men are excited about it, and I think we should be too.”

Late 2-0 at a second after Cirelli’s effort to spotlight with a short-handed Tampa, Matthews – who was named a Hart Cup finalist as the NHL MVP earlier in the day – responded with four playoffs after 54 seconds when he overturned Mark Giordano’s point-and-shoot .

Tavares then leveled with 33.7 seconds left in the period when Vasilevsky couldn’t control his shot with Jason Spitza hitting the flapping puck.

I have no comments for referees

The Toronto captain then gave his side – who also fought off a 2-0 hole at home to win Game Five by 4-3 – their first lead of the night with 7.8 seconds left on the clock when he buried his third in the match. Many games inside the amazing Amalie Arena.

The Lightning earned a two-man advantage at 1:45 midway through third when David Campf and Alexander Kervut whistled in quick succession, and Kucherov equalized at 9:20 when he fired his second at Campbell.

The Leafs were left furious because Kampf’s wand did not come into contact with the face of Lightning defender Cal Foote on the first call. Visitors also complained that Point had taken off his chin strap before Kucherov scored, but the goal remained.

“At that moment it’s hard to make a decision,” Keefe said of Kampf’s decision. “But I have the advantage of slow replay. Officials don’t, so they are in a difficult situation.

“It’s the way the game goes.”

Tampa Bay Lightning players celebrate striker Brayden Point’s goal in overtime in their 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 6 on Thursday. (Mike Ehrman/Getty Images)

It seems that a series of penalty shootouts has turned into a more traditional style in the playoff as the referees leave more players on both sides.

“I don’t have any comments about the referees,” said Tavares, who was echoed by both Matthews and Riley in the media available after the match.

Brandon Hagel had a fantastic opportunity to give Tampa the lead late in the regulation, but he missed the net from a tight spot with Campbell at his mercy.

Toronto had two big chances early in overtime, but Vasilevsky was there to deny both Kervot and Ilya Mikheev before Point won it.

Having blasted their doors early on the same ice in Game 4 en route to losing 7-3, the Leafs had a good start, but fell with teams playing 4-on-4 late in the first.

Kerfoot made an ill-advised drop pass in the neutral to anyone. Bale jumped on his turn and moved on to Campbell before shooting his house in for the third time with 2:22 left in the period.

Vasilevskiy stopped short of Ilya Lyubushkin and Matthews on rebounds early in the second before The Leafs had a strong first.

But it was lightning that struck the man when Cirelli picked up the disc after Mikheyev’s spin – Toronto’s second fatal mistake of the night – and moved into the attack zone. The Tampa center single-handedly moved against Giordano and used Spin-o-Rama to create space before shooting low on his first streak at 10:46.

Leaves will respond before the lightning recedes.

Toronto now has another chance to take down the champions and finally change the ugly match narrative of the original Six.

“We had a great opportunity here,” Tavares said. “We fought so hard. We just didn’t get it done.

“We have to find a way to cross the finish line.”

2022-05-13 03:21:00

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