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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Lightning strike early, beat Maple Leafs 7-3 to even series

TAMPA, Fla. ( Associated Press) – Ross Colton scored twice, Andrei Vasilevsky made 22 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning made a quick start and finished their first round as they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 in Game 4 on Sunday night. playoff series.

Steven Stamkos, Pierre douard Bellemare and Pat Maroon scored in the opening period against Game 3 star Jack Campbell in the first eight minutes, setting the tone for a long night for the Toronto goalkeeper to deliver a scintillating performance the night before.

Corey Perry and Ondrej Palt also scored, and Brandon Hegel and Nikita Kucherov made two assists each for the Lightning.

Wasilewski improved to 17–0 in games after a playoff loss in the last three postseasons to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

William Nylander scored twice and Jake Muzin also scored a goal for the Maple Leafs. Campbell dropped five goals on 16 shots before being replaced by Eric Kalgren in the second period, who stopped facing all 10 shots.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Toronto.

Tampa Bay put on a dominant performance in the final 5:20 with blank-net goals by Palat and Colton.

The Lightning felt they self-destructed in losses in Games 1 and 3, spending too much time in the penalty box against a team that was the NHL’s top-ranked power play during the regular season.

They’ve been on the Maple Leafs since Sunday night, with the Stamkos beating Campbell from inside the Blue Line just a minute into the game. Belémare and Maroon scored in the next seven minutes to take a 3–0 lead.

Things only got ugly from there for Toronto, who pulled Campbell after Colton scored from the slot, and Perry – with Kucherov and Brayden points to assist – 5-0 on a 5-on-3 power play. given for the lead. 25 of the second period.

The five-goal deficit would have been huge, if not for Toronto’s penalty-killing unit’s game. Tampa Bay was 1 for 7 in the power-plays during the two periods and finished 1-of-8. The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, were 0 for 2 in man-advantage positions, eventually scoring the first of Nylander’s two goals at 2:27 of the third against Wasilewski.

Vasilevskiy and the Lightning once again slowed down Toronto’s Austin Matthews and Mitchell Marner. Nylander’s first goal was Matthews’ first aid, although the NHL’s leading goal-scorer during the regular season did not have a shot on goal until the third period.

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