Alexander Kerfoot scored on the power play at 4:14 of overtime after Toronto overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period, and the Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 on Monday night to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. in their first-round playoff matchup.
Alex Killorn scored twice to help the Lightning build a 4-1 lead that the Maple Leafs erased with three goals, two by Auston Matthews, in a span of 6 minutes, 20 seconds. Morgan Rielly’s second goal of the series tied it 4–4 at 16:04 of the third period.
It was the second time in three nights that Toronto rallied late to force overtime. Ryan O’Reilly’s goal with 60 seconds remaining in regulation kept the Maple Leafs alive in Game 3, and O’Reilly won it at 19:45 of overtime for a 2–1 series lead .
Mikhail Sergachev and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 32 shots and had a couple of great saves in overtime before Kerfoot redirected Mark Giordano past the keeper for the win.
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Noel Acciari scored for the second straight game for Toronto, deflecting Justin Holl’s shot past Vasilevskiy early in the second period to briefly bring the Maple Leafs within one goal before Tampa Bay pulled away on goals by Stamkos and Killorn that put the 4-1.
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It was 2-0 after one period, and Toronto was lucky the deficit wasn’t bigger.
Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov saved Brandon Hagel’s penalty kick just under eight minutes into the game, but the Lightning’s persistence paid off as Killorn, and then Sergachev, scored their first goals of the series thanks to Nikita Kucherov’s perfect transmissions.
In both instances, Samsonov positioned himself to defend a potential Kucherov shot as the Lightning star delivered the puck to Killorn and Sergachev from right circle.
Killorn scored his first goal on a power play. The second came from a shot from the left circle past Samsonov to the far post for a three-goal lead.
Samsonov stopped 27 shots.
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Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point was in the lineup Monday night after falling headfirst into the boards while fighting for a loose puck with Toronto’s Morgan Rielly.
Initially, Rielly was given a severe five-minute penalty for tackling, however the call was eventually rescinded. The hit sparked several skirmishes, including separate fights pitting Stamkos against Matthews and Kucherov against O’Reilly.
Point returned six minutes later and finished the game. Lightning coach Jon Cooper previously said the highest-scoring center would be a game-time decision. Point had an assist on Sergachev’s goal, which put Tampa Bay up 2-0 in the first half.