Turn around is fair play, they say. On Thursday, after being thoroughly beaten by a score of 7-3 on Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs turned it on and laid a beating on this same Tampa Bay Lightning team.
John Tavares scored his first playoff hat trick in a lopsided 7-2 victory over the Lightning. The Maple Leafs rebounded from a poor Game 1 playoff start to even the teams’ first-round playoff series at a game apiece.
As far as Maple Leafs’ scoring goes, Mitch Marner had two goals and an assist. William Nylander added a goal and an assist, and Zach Aston-Reese also scored. Morgan Rielly tied a franchise record with four assists. Auston Matthews had two assists for the Maple Leafs.
In short, the stars of the Maple Leafs stepped up in last night’s game. One of these stars was Ilya Samsonov who made 20 saves for Toronto after being pulled in Tuesday’s 7-3 loss.
How the Scoring Went for the Maple Leafs (with Commentary)
Maple Leafs’ Goal One: Marner was tripped up by Ian Cole, leading to a power play opportunity. Marner then scored the first goal of the game for the Maple Leafs. That goal made him the first player in franchise history to report a point on each of the team’s first four goals of the postseason.
Maple Leafs’ Goal Two: Reilly assisted Tavares to make it a 2-0 hockey game.
Maple Leafs’ Goal Three: Nylander scored a goal assisted by Matthews and Rielly to make it 3-0 Toronto. It was the first time since 2004 that the Maple Leafs scored three goals in the opening frame of a playoff game.
Maple Leafs’ Goals Four, Five & Six: Toronto scored three more goals in the second period. Marner and Tavares both got their second goals, with Zach Aston-Reese getting his first. Rielly registered an assist on the first goal of the period; and, with that assist, he set a franchise record for points in a playoff game by a defenseman.
Maple Leafs’ Goal Seven: The Maple Leafs added one more goal in the third period. It was Tavares’ hat-trick goal. That goal marked the first time since 1994 that Toronto had scored seven goals in a playoff game. It was also Tavares’ first hat trick in a postseason game.
Related: Maple Leafs Random Thoughts: Holl, Schenn, Gustafsson, Bunting
Key Takeaways from Maple Leafs Win
Key Takeaway One: The Toronto Maple Leafs needed to push back in game two after getting manhandled in their own building in game one against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They got it!
Key Takeaway Two: Mitch Marner and John Tavares became the first pair of Maple Leafs’ teammates to score multiple goals in the same playoff game since 2002.
Key Takeaway Three: The final score was 7-2 in favor of the Maple Leafs, tying up the series against the Lightning.
Key Takeaway Four: The Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevski allowed seven goals, matching his career worst in the playoffs.
Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Bunting, McCabe & O’Reilly
Final Notes About the Maple Leafs Solid Game
First, Rielly’s four assists tied the franchise record in a playoff game, joining Doug Gilmour (1994), Darryl Sittler (1977), and Ian Turnbull (1976).
Second, Marner’s goal 47 seconds into the first was the quickest goal by a Maple Leafs’ player in the postseason since Dan Daoust (31 seconds) in 1987.
Third, Rielly’s three assists in the first period marked the only time in team history a Toronto player registered three points in a postseason period.
Related: 3 Reasons Why Maple Leafs’ Michael Bunting Got 3 Games
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April 21, 2023 at 1:53 am
Great performance. Three more like that and they will be four out of 16 wins away from actually accomplishing something. Keep an even keel and keep working hard. Don’t dress Wayne Simmonds even though Pat Maroon is getting unhinged. Make last night your template.
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