The Toronto Maple Leafs were facing the Tampa Bay Lightning in game 5 of their first round NHL playoff series on Tuesday. The Leafs were playing at home in Scotia Bank arena. The series was tied 2 – 2 heading into the game after the Leafs lost game 4 in what looked like their worst playoff performance of the year.
The 1st period looked like the Maple Leafs were continuing with the same sloppy play they left Tampa with in game 4. Im sure a lot of spectators counted them out after they fell behind 0 – 2 heading into the 1st intermission.
It was Jason Spezza’s pep talk during the 1st intermission that helped to settle the squad.
In the second and third periods the Leafs speed and skill was evident and the star players took over and did what needed to be done. The depth players and excellent team defense of the Leafs kept them in the game along with great goaltending from Jack Campbell. John Tavares finally found the back of the net. Auston Matthews scored his fifth game-winning playoff goal. Nylander had a goal and two assist and that was it.
Game over Toronto wins. Leafs 4, Tampa Bay 3.
Story of the Game
This game was the story of two tales. The mayhem in the 1st period and the magnificent play of William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Jack Campbell in the 2nd and 3rd periods.
Starting with William “Wheeler” Nylander’s soft stick to take a penalty in the 1st period, to a spectacular goal in the 3rd period to take the lead in the game.
Mitchell “The Wizard” Marner did about everything right all game. Even near the end of the game he was impressive with a big hit on Kucherov in the defense zone.
All night Auston Matthews was a bull hitting anyone he could and then scoring the winning goal.
John Tavares went to the dirty areas and was rewarded with a goal.
The game was topped off by the insane saves from Jack “Soup” Campbell and the team defense holding the lead to the end to close out the game.
Auston Matthews on Game 5;
“That felt good… Just the crowd, the energy, there’s nothing like the playoffs atmosphere. Especially here in Toronto.. It was pretty special. It was a big win for us but there’s still some work to be done. It’s was a good night, just to battle back down two goals, never losing hope and just competing but like I said, the job is not done.”
William Nylander on Jack Campbell;
“He kept us in the game… I mean he’s been doing that all year. It’s incredible to see him make huge saves regardless of the score. I think he’s been incredible. We just have to help him next game.”
Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe;
“We gave that back to them but then another big time play by Mitch and Auston connecting there. That’s what you’re looking for at key times. A big game like this. You need to be your best to step up and make a difference and they certainly did that. Jack Campbell was probably the key to this whole thing here today. He kept them at two for a long time and gave us a chance to come back.”
Three Stars of the Game
- William “Wheeler” Nylander
- Jack “Soup” Campbell
- Auston “The Bull Sniper” Matthews
Stay tuned for Game 6 in Tampa Bay on Thursday May 12th at 7:30pm.
En route to the Stanley Cup finals! This is En Sentry Sorgini reporting to you for GTA Weekly News.