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Lightning strike early, beat Maple Leafs 7-3 to even series


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Ross Colton scored twice, Andrei Vasilevskiy had 22 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning bought off to a quick begin and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 in Game 4 on Sunday night time to even their first-round playoff sequence.

Steven Stamkos, Pierre Edouard Bellemare and Pat Maroon scored within the first eight minutes in opposition to Game 3 star Jack Campbell within the opening interval, setting the tone for an extended night time for the Toronto goalie coming off a stellar efficiency two nights earlier than.

Corey Perry and Ondrej Palat additionally scored, and Brandon Hagel and Nikita Kucherov every had two assists for the Lightning.

Vasilevskiy improved to 17-0 in video games following a playoff loss over the previous three postseasons for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

William Nylander scored twice and Jake Muzzin additionally had a aim for the Maple Leafs. Campbell gave up 5 objectives on 16 pictures earlier than being changed within the second interval by Erik Kallgren, who stopped all 10 pictures he confronted.

Game 5 is Tuesday night time in Toronto.

Tampa Bay put the ending touches on a dominant efficiency with empty-net objectives by Palat and Colton within the closing 5:20.

The Lightning felt they self-destructed in losses in Games 1 and three, spending far an excessive amount of time within the penalty field in opposition to a workforce that had the NHL’s top-ranked energy play in the course of the common season.

They had been everywhere in the Maple Leafs from the beginning Sunday night time, with Stamkos beating Campbell from simply contained in the blue line precisely one minute into the sport. Bellemare and Maroon adopted with objectives over the subsequent seven minutes to construct the result in 3-0.

Things solely bought uglier from there for Toronto, which pulled Campbell after Colton scored from the slot, and Perry — with Kucherov and Brayden Point choosing up assists — delivered on a 5-on-3 energy play for a 5-0 lead at 5:25 of the second interval.

The five-goal deficit would have been greater if not for the play of Toronto ’s penalty-killing unit. Tampa Bay was 1 of seven on the power-play via two intervals and completed 1-of-8. The Maple Leafs, in the meantime, had been 0 for two in man-advantage conditions earlier than lastly breaking via in opposition to Vasilevskiy with the primary of Nylander’s two objectives at 2:27 of the third.

Vasilevskiy and the Lightning as soon as once more slowed down Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner. Matthews had the first help on Nylander’s first aim, nevertheless the NHL’s main goal-scorer in the course of the common season didn’t have a shot on aim till the third interval.

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