Paul scores 2, Lightning hold off Maple Leafs 2-1 in Game 7

TORONTO (AP) — Nick Paul scored two times, together with an implausible particular person effort at the tiebreaking purpose past due 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 collection.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 pictures 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 during the last 5 postseasons after additionally shedding 4-3 in Game 6 at Tampa, Florida, two nights previous. Jack Campbell had 23 saves.

The Maple Leafs had been as soon as once more not able to push via and in the end turn a protracted, unsightly narrative of playoff screw ups for a franchise that has now misplaced its ultimate seven collection, together with six directly courting 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 collection lead towards the Montreal Canadiens.

Down 1-0 after 20 mins on this one, the Maple Leafs perceived to tie the rating at 11:28 of the second one when John Tavares roofed a shot on Vasilevskiy, however the purpose used to be waved off after Toronto defenseman Justin Holl used to be whistled for interference.

Campbell needed to make a few desperation stops at the resulting penalty kill to set the level 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 group of nineteen,316 right into a chaotic frenzy.

The purpose used to be the primary surrendered by means of Vasilevskiy and the Lightning of their ultimate six series-deciding video games.

William Nylander then neglected top on a breakaway and the Tampa goaltender robbed Matthews with the Maple Leafs humming.

But Paul scored his 2nd of the night time — and 2nd ever within the playoffs — with 3:28 closing within the duration on an ideal play the place he kicked the puck from his skate to his stick.

Tampa just about made it 3-1 past due within the duration when Kucherov hit the purpose publish from the slot.

Vasilevskiy used to be below siege all through Toronto energy play simply over six mins into the 3rd, however stored the house facet at bay in spite of some livid drive.

Toronto endured to press within an nervous, tension-filled rink because the clock ticked down.

The Maple Leafs, alternatively, simply couldn’t give you the chance via with Campbell at the bench for an additional skater to finish every other bankruptcy of playoff sadness.

Both groups had terrific alternatives for early breakthroughs, however Vasilevskiy and Campbell had been there at each and every flip.

Tavares just about blew scored on an ideal probability in shut the place Vasilevskiy shot out his left pad sooner than the 2019 Vezina Trophy winner denied Marner. Campbell then held the fortress 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 collection, used to be injured past due 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 possibilities in Game 5 along with his crew forward sooner than Toronto roared again, scored his first. Campbell made the preliminary prevent on Ross Colton’s one-timer off the push that nicked Rielly’s stick, however the rebound fell to Paul at 1:36 as Toronto surrendered the primary purpose for a fourth directly recreation.

The Lightning had been taking part in in simply their 2nd 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 used to be Toronto’s first Game 7 at house with enthusiasts — the membership’s 2021 loss towards Montreal used to be performed in entrance of 550 health-care employees on account of COVID-19 restrictions — since 2004 when Joe Nieuwendyk scored two times to oust the Ottawa Senators.

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