Lightning Flip the Switch in Game One Win in Toronto

Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

After the Tampa Bay Lightning have been written off over the last couple of months, once again they proved Tuesday night that they will never go gently into the good night. They went on the road and dominated the Toronto Maple Leafs in game one from start to finish on the way to a 7-3 win.

With so many questioning if the Lightning have anything left in the tank, those doubters were quickly silenced as Tampa Bay scored 78 seconds into game thanks to reunified school bus line. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Corey Perry and Pat Maroon had their fingerprints all over this game and were huge in a dominating first period. Perry would end up having a three point night and seven shots on goal.

A power play goal late in the first period pushed the Lightning ahead by three goals, a place the Lightning have been before in the opening game of the playoffs in years gone by. Tampa Bay would show their growth from those years past as Toronto began to push back in the second period, scoring twice on the power play to bring the score to 3-2.

The Leafs came undone once the Lightning potted three power play goals in the final six minutes of the second period, two of which came from Brayden Point. Toronto’s Ilya Samsonov’s night would be done after 40 minutes after looking incredibly shaky. Joseph Woll came in and will certainly be considered as an option to start game two.

This was a result very few saw coming. The Lightning’s play toward the end of the season made everything point towards the Leafs finally slaying the dragon of the Lightning. There was always a belief that there was some sort of ability for Tampa Bay to flip the switch now that the games mean something to them. After all, they have been locked into this playoff matchup for months.

“We know what we have to do” said Corey Perry after the game. The truth of the matter is that everybody on this team knows what they have to do to get over the hump in the playoffs and Tampa Bay asserted that they know how to turn things on when the real lights turn on.

It was not all sunshine and rainbows however in the game one win as Victor Hedman, Erik Cernak and Mikey Eyssimont both missed much of the second and the entirety of the third period. No update was provided on Cernak or Eyssimont. As for Hedman, the hope is that he will be okay and it will be a wait and see sort of situation.

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