Tampa, Fla. — The Bolts faced the Leafs earlier tonight right here in Tampa Bay and there was an old familiar face, a friend now turned foe wearing #24 for Toronto, Brian Boyle. Boyle was quoted earlier today, “They got rid of me..I guess they didn’t need me that much. I’m on this team now. I’m here to win.”
And win the Leafs did! A 5-0 domination which the Lightning were a dreadful 0-5 on the power play but out-shot Toronto for the game 33-21.
The Lightning entered tonight’s game just one point ahead of the Leafs, right outside of a wild card spot and this four swing is devastating.
Win is what the Leaf started off the game to do, and Roman Polak scoring the first goal of the game for Toronto at 9:19 in the first.
The first period played out with the Lightning shooting 7, Leafs 5. Toronto was ahead 1-0.
Due to the injuries of Tyler Johnson, Cedric Paquette, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ryan Callahan and Steven Stamkos the Lightning found themselves with six Syracuse Crunch players on the roster. It was reminiscent of a game late last year when the Leafs played the Lightning but it was Toronto, clearly out the playoffs at the time, that was filled with their AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
Within the first two and half minutes tonight, 2:24 of the second period to be exact, the Leafs managed to score their second goal. Morgan Reilly slid one by Andrei Vasilevskiy, which lead to a huge breakdown by the Lightning just seconds later 2:39 for the third Maple Leafs goal. This Lightning team of late seemingly played like a team on fire until tonight. This Toronto team just seemed to be skating circles around the Bolts in the second period.
Adding insult to injury Luke Witowski took a minor elbowing penalty, and put the Leafs on the power play. They quickly scored their fourth goal, a power play goal by Connor Brown. Vasilevskiy left the crease and enter Peter Budaj.
Lost of mistakes, and puck turnovers by Tampa led to a fifth goal for the Leafs. The score was 5-0 and the second period wasn’t over yet.
Some of the Leafs momentum can be accredited to the amazing goal tending of #31 Frederik Andersen who started the evening with a 2.73 GAA. He got my star of the game.
Things will not get easier as the Washington Capitals are in town Saturday night.
Arena: Amalie Arena Location: Tampa, Florida
Referees: Ian Walsh, Steve Kozari Linesmen: Tony Sericolo, Mark Shewchyk
Attendance: 19,092 (100.0% full)
Team Statistical Comparison
Key: Toronto Tampa Bay
1st Period Summary
Roman Polak (4) Assist: Tyler Bozak
Ondrej Palat: 2 Minutes for Tripping Auston Matthews
2nd Period Summary
Morgan Rielly (5) Assists: Nazem Kadri, Alexey Marchenko
Matt Martin (5) Assists: Nikita Soshnikov, Matt Hunwick
Connor Brown (16) (Power Play) Assists: William Nylander, Leo Komarov
James van Riemsdyk (22) Assists: Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner
Luke Witkowski: 2 Minutes for Elbowing Leo Komarov
Brian Boyle: 2 Minutes for Tripping Brayden Point
Nikita Zaitsev: 2 Minutes for Interference of Gabriel Dumont
Matt Hunwick: 2 Minutes for High-sticking Ondrej Palat
3rd Period Summary
No scoring this period
Leo Komarov: 2 Minutes for Interference of Peter Budaj
Nazem Kadri: 2 Minutes for Roughing Yanni Gourde
Yanni Gourde: 2 Minutes for Roughing Nazem Kadri
Nazem Kadri: 2 Minutes for Cross checking Yanni Gourde (Served by Mitch Marner)
James van Riemsdyk: 2 Minutes for Cross checking Luke Witkowski
Luke Witkowski: 2 Minutes for Cross checking James van Riemsdyk
Victor Hedman: 2 Minutes for Holding Auston Matthews