Hedman, Lightning beat Maple Leafs 5-3 to even collection | Sports activities

TORONTO — Victor Hedman had a aim and three assists for his first four-point playoff sport and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 on Wednesday night time in Game 2 to even the first-round collection.

Nikita Kucherov added a aim and two assists and Brayden Point, Corey Perry and Brandon Hagel additionally scored for two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves in a bounce-back efficiency after the Lightning dropped the opener 5-0.

“I don’t know how far teams go when their big guys aren’t going,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper mentioned. “You need them, especially at times when your back’s against the wall. Can’t say our backs were against the wall, it was one game, but we needed tonight. They stepped up and it started with our goaltender. He was outstanding.”

Mitch Marner had a aim and an help for Toronto, Michael Bunting and Alexander Kerfoot additionally scored and Jack Campbell made 29 saves. Auston Matthews had two assists.

“Too many penalties,” Marner mentioned. They’ve bought a number of guys that may make performs. We’ve bought to remain out of the field.”

Game 3 is Friday night time in Florida.

The Lightning opened the scoring on an influence play with 1.4 seconds left within the first interval. After making an enormous cease on Point from the slot, Campbell was crushed by Hedman from in tight on a damaged play the place the puck popped out to the defenseman on the goaltender’s doorstep.

“I was looking for (Kucherov),” Hedman mentioned. “I don’t know if he got tangled up or not, but I was waiting to pass it. That was a big goal.”

Vasilevskiy made a glove save on Timothy Liljegren early within the second, then Hedman despatched Perry in alone on a breakaway lower than a minute later to make it 2-0 at 2:21.

Bunting lower it to 2-1 at 7:47. He returned to Toronto’s high line alongside Matthews and Marner after lacking the final 4 video games of the common season and the collection opener with an undisclosed damage.

Tampa Bay’s energy play linked once more at 9:57 with Kucherov’s aim. Hagel made it 4-1 at 1:33 of the third, and Point scored on one other energy play at 5:38.

“After we made it 2-1, I don’t think we grabbed the game as well as they did,” Maple Leafs captain John Tavares mentioned. “Just being short-handed as much as we were, especially when we got down, it was hard to really get our game going.”

Marner bought one again for Toronto with 8:07 left and Kerfoot scored the Maple Leafs’ second short-handed aim of the collection with 4:17.

“The refs set the standard early,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned. “They took one (player) after the whistle, which made it pretty clear that they were going to call it like that. We didn’t do a good job of reading that and responding to that. We’ve got to be more responsible.”

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