TAMPA — The Lightning’s first game against the Maple Leafs since Tampa Bay’s seven-game win over Toronto in the first round of the 2021-22 postseason showed just how talented and evenly matched the team is. It reminded me.
Saturday night’s meeting at the Amalie Arena went back and forth, but constant whistles, a total of 11 power plays and a two-goal comeback by video review disrupted the flow of the match. The Lightning won 4–3 in overtime, but couldn’t take much from the win.
“The only advantage is that we got extra points,” said coach John Cooper. “Weird Game”
Forward Alex Killone scored 33 seconds into the extra session to give Tampa Bay (15-8-1) five wins in six overtime games this season, becoming the first player to replace captain Stephen Stamkos. The evening ended with a tribute pre-game ceremony. In team history, he reached 1,000 career points in a previous game for the Lightning on Thursday night in Philadelphia.
Kiron scored in the first shift of overtime, intercepting a pass by Maple Leafs forward Ouston Matthews in the Lightning Zone, pushing the puck forward to push Anthony Cirelli forward and streaking along the right wing. Playing in his first game since offseason shoulder surgery, Cirelli carried his puck into his zone in neutral and hit Kiloan at the top of the right circle.
Quilone drifted towards the outside of the right dot and after some hesitation unloaded a wrist shot from a tight angle that handcuffed Toronto goalkeeper Matt Murray shortside.
“It may not have been the best place to shoot on ice, but I thought I’d give it a try,” Killone said. “Tony was going to the net and I thought he might rebound. … If you want to win, you have to take your chances.”
The game went to overtime after the Maple Leafs’ go-ahead goal was taken off the scoreboard with 4:04 remaining in regulation. In his review of the video it was ruled that forward John Tavares kicked the puck into the net in the middle of the crowd at the crease.
Toronto forward Mitchell Marner set a franchise record for most consecutive games with 19 points and tied the score at 3 with his second goal of the night on a power play in regulation with 8:05 left. Teams play combined goals to score in the third period.
After conceding a short-handed goal early in the match, the Lightning Powerplay scored twice in the first 4:34 of the third period to take a 3-2 lead. The Lightning has scored his goal on at least one power play in his 10th straight game.
Forward Ross Colton scored the go-ahead goal and fired a one-timer from under the right circle to score his second goal in the same number of games.
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Forward Nikita Kucherov equalized at 2 1:51 to enter the third period with a 4-3 advantage. Kucherov calmly slid to the top of the right circle and shot Corey over his Perry screen short to the side of Murray on his side.
The Lightning received important contributions from the bottom six forwards. Vladislav Namestnikov scored his first goal of the season in his newly formed third line centered around Cirelli. In 1,200 games of his career, Perry set up 5-5 scoring chances along with two power-play assists.
“There are so many power plays and it’s hard when the teams are stacked up, so you need these lines to help tip the ice a little bit,” Cooper said.
Playing in his first game since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals on June 26, Cirelli had two primary assists while also contributing to a penalty kill.
“It felt great,” Cirelli said. “It was great just to be with the guys playing in the game.
Before the game, Stamkos was presented with a Scotty Cameron putter, a 6-liter bottle of Chilone’s Opus One wine and defenseman Victor Hedman, while Lightning owner Jeff Vinnik gave him an engraved gold hockey stick. I gave it to The Thunderbug mascot gave Stamkos his 3-year-old son Carter and his 1-year-old son Chase a gift of engraved gold mini sticks.
“I’m so happy to be able to tell people that I played with him and that I’m good friends with him,” Killone said of Stamkos. Such a beautiful family.It was a really great moment to see all the memories he had of his time in Lightning.”
Contact Eduardo A. Encina email@example.comFollow @EddieintheYard.
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