After being up 1-0 with just a little over 40 seconds left in the game, John Tavares scored the game-tying goal for Toronto forcing the game into overtime. On a breakaway by Tavares, Victor Hedman made a risky move by slashing Tavares, leading to a power play for the Leafs. William Nylander would eventually score on the powerplay, giving the Leafs their fourth win in a row.
Jack Campbell is the main reason why Toronto won this one, saving them all throughout the third period. If it wasn’t for him, it could have been a blowout win for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy saved the Lightning as well when trouble arose in both the first and second, and when the Lightning were on a 3v5 penalty kill.
With such an exciting game, there’s a lot that happened, and a lot to go over.
1. The Fourth Line Finally Gets a Point!
The Lightning’s only goal came from none other than Patrick Maroon. Corey Perry and Erik Cernak got the assists on the goal, ending the nine game scoring drought by this line. While Perry has had many chances in previous games to get something done, luck hasn’t been on his side, and even his great plays haven’t been able to lead to anything. The only forward yet to get a point this season is Boris Katchouk, who has played in just four games so far this season.
2. Vasilevskiy is on Fire
Vasilevskiy has played amazing after having a rough start to the season, going from a .880% save to .919%, along with averaging a 2.40 GAA, compared to 3.50 GAA earlier in the season. Vasilevskiy is playing like a Vezina trophy candidate during these last few games, and if he can get consistent breaks, he should be great through the season and, hopefully, playoffs too.
3. Jon Cooper Has it Figured Out
After what seemed like a disaster to start the season, it seems like Jon Cooper and his coaching staff finally have a plan that works. Barre-Boulet’s return was the cherry on top of all of it, with the Lightning instantly playing much better once he found his spot in the lineup. Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh still need some time to get used to their roles, but so far, every line has played great.
4. Too Many Penalties
The reason the Lightning lost this game was because of a penalty by Victor Hedman. In the first period, both Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev got minor penalties to give a 5-on-3 powerplay for the Leafs. The Lightning last year had the most penalty minutes out of any team in the league, and it seems like it might happen again. The problem is that the penalty kill still isn’t at it’s full potential, and all the penalties aren’t helping anything.
5. Frustration Starting to Show
late in the first period, Sergachev had a dangerous hit on Toronto’s Mitch Marner, lifting his shoulders up to hit him in the head, causing him to fall to the ground. A suspendable offense, the Lightning need to use that anger on the puck and play 5v5 hockey for more than just 40 minutes a game. Usually, Sergachev and Hedman are not dirty players, but they’ve both had their bad moments. It should get better over time, but for now, it’s an issue.
The Tampa Bay Lightning face the Ottawa Senators Saturday night at 2pm EST