Tampa, Florida – Jack Campbell did not flinch.
Not when Tampa Bay Lightning began to cut the deficit by three goals, and especially not when twice-defending Stanley Cup champion made a late push to really warm up the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Campbell had 32 saves, including three out of focus to defend the lead in the late game, and the Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 5-2 on Friday night in the 3rd game of the first-round playoff series. Atlantic Division.
“Going to this rink is a tough rink. Their fans admire it, and their team is always buzzing. “We worked hard to get off to a good start tonight, especially after Game 2,” said Campbell.
No team has been as resilient in the post-season as Tampa Bay, winning division titles, but the Maple Leafs feel they have made some progress in responding to adversity since squandering Montreal’s 3-1 lead in the first round. last year’s playoffs.
In the last two minutes Ilya Mikheer scored two goals in the empty net, and Morgan Rieli, Colin Blackwell and David Kampf also scored a goal to help the Maple Leafs recover after losing game 2 and go ahead 2-1 and regain the lead on the ice. in the best match. The Eastern Conference match with seven.
Ross Colton and Ondrej Palat scored for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevsky had 31 saves.
Game 4 Sunday night in Tampa.
“We can’t wait for them to go up a couple of heads for us to switch the switch,” Colton said. “The second half of the game, I think we dominated them. … I think it just comes down to preparation. You need to come to the skating rink a little more urgently. “
In the games “Lightning” 16-0 after losing in the playoffs over the past three postseasons, including a 5-3 victory in the second game of this series.
However, the reigning champions failed to bolster the momentum of that victory, losing to Riley in the power game and Blackwell in a 3-on-1 match in the first 10 minutes. The coup resulted in an unassisted goal by Kampf, who made it 3-0 early in the second period.
“We’re in boxing a lot, so it kills the course of the game, kills some momentum,” Lightning captain Stephen Stemkas said.
“Guys grind, work extremely hard. Five penalties cannot be taken in the first half of the game, it is difficult, ”Stamkos added. “Give our penalty takers a ton of credit, give our goalkeeper a ton of credit. We fought hard, but it’s hard to go through three holes and expect to be back in the playoffs. “
Coltan’s goal in the power play at 11:03 of the second period gave Tampa Bay hope for a comeback, and the House’s 38th playoff playoff goal reduced Toronto’s 3-2 lead in just over 14 minutes to the end.
However, Campbell did not die under pressure, enduring the last opportunity to play in Tampa Bay, when he rejected a one-time game of Stamkos, and later made another stellar stop to thwart Braden Point’s attempt to equalize.
“Our penalties are amazing in front of me, and they worked well all season,” Campbell said of Stamkos’ strike. “Sometimes the quality of the players that are in Tampa, they’re going to play great. They played great there, and thankfully that’s the way it is.”
Vasilevsky was pulled out on the extra striker with a score of 2:20. Mikheev led the Maple Leafs 4-2 in the 18:20 period, and his second empty throw came out 5 seconds before the end.
Toronto, which has not won a playoff series since 2004, won the opening game of the series at home 5-0.
“Early leadership has really benefited us. The soup made some incredible saves, “said Maple Leafs star Ostan Matthews.” Throughout our lineup, the guys got stronger when they had to and played when they had to. “
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