Morgan Reilly scored at 7:15 p.m. into overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night in Game 3 of the first round of the NHL playoff series. .
Ilya Samsonov stopped 36 shots for Toronto. He had eight saves in the overtime, one over Lightning star Nikita Kucherov from the spotlight, to help the Maple Leafs take a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 is Monday night at Amalie Arena.
Auston Matthews and Noel Acciari also scored for Toronto, which forced overtime when Ryan O’Reilly slid a shot past goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy with a minute left in regulation.
Anthony Cirelli and Brandon Hagel scored for Tampa Bay, which took a 3-2 lead on rookie Darren Raddysh’s first playoff goal in the second period.
Play was interrupted for several minutes early in the third period as officials ordered a wild sequence that began with Reilly shoving Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point into the backboards as the two battled for a loose puck.
The hit sparked several skirmishes, one involving Steven Stamkos and Matthews of Tampa Bay.
Stamkos and Matthews were sent to the penalty area for fighting, as were Kucherov and O’Reilly.
Reilly initially received a five-minute penalty for tackling, but after review, the referees ruled no penalty for the shoving of Point, who skidded to the locker room doubled over in pain before returning in the final minutes of regulation.
Matthews and Acciari scored in the first half for Toronto. The Maple Leafs forced overtime when O’Reilly scored from the front after Vasilevskiy blocked William Nylander’s shot from the left of the net.
Tampa Bay eliminated a pair of one-goal deficits in the first period, with Hagel’s first goal of the drive making it 2–2. Raddysh skated from behind the net to lift a nifty shot over Samsonov for the Lightning’s 3-2 lead until O’Reilly equalized with exactly one minute remaining in the third.
Two minutes after Raddysh scored, the Lightning looked to go up 4-2. But what would have been a power play goal for Point was disallowed after officials used replay to determine that Samsonov had covered the puck before Point pulled it out from under the goaltender’s bag and into the net. .
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Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman played after missing the final two periods of Game 1 and all of Game 2 with an undisclosed injury. Defenseman Erik Cernak remained sidelined after taking a hit to the head from Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting in Game 1. Bunting received a three-game suspension for an illegal head check and interference.