TORONTO — Nick Paul scored two times, together with an improbable person effort at the tiebreaking function overdue in the second one duration, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in Game 7 on Saturday night time to win their first-round playoff sequence.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 photographs for the two-time protecting Stanley Cup champions.
Morgan Rielly scored for Toronto, which hasn’t reached the second one around since 2004 and is now 0-9 in removing video games over the past 5 postseasons after additionally shedding 4-3 in Game 6 at Tampa, Florida, two nights previous. Jack Campbell had 23 saves.
The Maple Leafs have been as soon as once more not able to push thru and in any case turn an extended, unpleasant narrative of playoff screw ups for a franchise that has now misplaced its ultimate seven sequence, together with six instantly relationship again to 2017.
Toronto is now 7-3 all-time at house in Game 7s, together with a loss at Scotiabank Arena ultimate season after blowing a 3-1 sequence lead in opposition to the Montreal Canadiens.
Down 1-0 after 20 mins on this one, the Maple Leafs gave the impression to tie the ranking at 11:28 of the second one when John Tavares roofed a shot on Vasilevskiy, however the function was once waved off after Toronto defenseman Justin Holl was once whistled for interference.
Campbell needed to make a few desperation stops at the resulting penalty kill to set the degree for Rielly’s equalizer off a setup from Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews to attain his 3rd of the playoffs at 6:35 to ship the gang of nineteen,316 right into a chaotic frenzy.
The function was once the primary surrendered by means of Vasilevskiy and the Lightning of their ultimate six series-deciding video games.
William Nylander then overlooked prime on a breakaway and the Tampa goaltender robbed Matthews with the Maple Leafs humming.
But Paul scored his 2d of the night time — and 2d ever within the playoffs — with 3:28 closing within the duration on an amazing play the place he kicked the puck from his skate to his stick.
Tampa just about made it 3-1 overdue within the duration when Kucherov hit the function put up from the slot.
Vasilevskiy was once beneath siege during Toronto energy play simply over six mins into the 3rd, however saved the house aspect at bay regardless of some livid power.
Toronto persevered to press within an worried, tension-filled rink because the clock ticked down.
The Maple Leafs, alternatively, simply couldn’t give you the option thru with Campbell at the bench for an additional skater to finish some other bankruptcy of playoff unhappiness.
Both groups had terrific alternatives for early breakthroughs, however Vasilevskiy and Campbell have been there at each and every flip.
Tavares just about blew scored on a really perfect likelihood in shut the place Vasilevskiy shot out his left pad sooner than the 2019 Vezina Trophy winner denied Marner. Campbell then held the citadel on a Lightning energy play on a few nice appears for the guests.
Brayden Point, who scored the winner in Tampa’s Game 6 victory to increase the sequence, was once injured overdue within the first when his proper leg were given stuck beneath him as he fell to the ice. The ahead — in agony as he headed down the tunnel to the locker room — attempted to go back for the second one duration, however close it down after a temporary shift.
The Lightning went up 1-0 moments after Point went down within the first when Paul, who had plenty of probabilities in Game 5 along with his staff forward sooner than Toronto roared again, scored his first. Campbell made the preliminary prevent on Ross Colton’s one-timer off the frenzy that nicked Rielly’s stick, however the rebound fell to Paul at 1:36 as Toronto surrendered the primary function for a fourth instantly recreation.
The Lightning have been taking part in in simply their 2d Game 7 because the get started of the 2020 playoffs after defeating the New York Islanders 1-0 on house within the semifinals ultimate June.
This was once Toronto’s first Game 7 at house with lovers — the membership’s 2021 loss in opposition to Montreal was once performed in entrance of 550 health-care staff on account of COVID-19 restrictions — since 2004 when Joe Nieuwendyk scored two times to oust the Ottawa Senators.