SportsQuest for the Cup


Maple Leafs hold off Lightning 5-2, take 2-1 series lead

Maple Leafs hold off Lightning 5-3, take 2-1 series lead
Posted at 10:57 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 23:22:48-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Jack Campbell had 32 saves — including three to protect the lead on a late power play — and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Friday night.

Ilya Mikheyer had two empty-net goals in the final two minutes, and Morgan Rielly, Colin Blackwell and David Kampf also scored to help Toronto take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference matchup.

Ross Colton and Ondrej Palat scored for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 31 saves.

Game 4 in Sunday night in Tampa.

The Lightning are 16-0 in games following a playoff loss over the last three postseasons, including a 5-3 win in Game 2 of this series.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions were unable to build on the momentum of that victory, though, yielding goals to Rielly and Blackwell in the opening 10 minutes before falling behind 3-0 when Toronto took advantage of a turnover with Kampf’s wrist shot from in front of Vasilevskiy.

Colton’s power-play goal at 11:03 of the second period gave Tampa Bay hope for comeback, and Palat’s 38th career playoff goal trimmed Toronto’s lead to 3-2 with just over 14 minutes remaining in the third.

Campbell never flinched, though, standing tall on Tampa Bay’s final power-play opportunity and the making another big stop down the stretch to thwart Brayden Point’s attempt to tie the score.

Vasilevskiy was pulled for an extra attacker with 2:20 left. Mikheyer put the Maple Leafs up 4-2 at 18:20 of the period, and his second empty-netter came with 5 seconds remaining.

Toronto, which hasn’t won a playoff series since 2004, won the opening game of the series at home 5-0.