Tampa lost to Toronto in Game 3 of the series, Kucherov got into a fight with Reilly and O’Reilly.
The “Tampa Bay Lightning” and “Toronto Maple Leafs” matchup in the NHL has long evolved into something higher and more principled than the usual hockey duel. The teams’ last face-to-face encounters in the current playoff draw are proof of that. Against the background of the high level of skill of the players and the bright, productive hockey, the clarification of personal relationships between individuals was especially played. For this reason, the number of penalty minutes along with disciplinary penalties has become commonplace in “lightning” and “abandonment” wars.
After the frenzy in the second game of the series, in addition to the score (7:2 in favor of the Maple Leafs), the total number of penalty minutes (72) for both teams turned out to be huge. It was easy to assume that there would be fire, not least, at the third meeting. The war moved to Tampa, and Lightning, along with his fans, had to not only win, but destroy the opponent in all respects.
It was played almost exactly in this format and although the match was in the first period, “Lightning” had to play the role of revenge again. Anthony Cirelli immediately responded to Noel Accari’s quick goal and Brandon Hagel responded to Auston Matthews’ first goal of this playoff. And although in the first 20 minutes “Toronto” still coped with the pressure from the hosts, the second period of John Cooper’s gang picked up the already fast pace. Barely leaving the locker room on the ice after the break, the “lightning” rained a series of bullets on Ilya Samsonov’s doors. And the Russian effectively dealt with them, neutralizing the 0-to-1, which, among other things, was performed by Jeannot Tanner.
Mid-period, however, Darren Reddish still broke the Maple Leafs’ guard and put Tampa ahead to earn his first career point in the NHL playoffs. A little later, Yıldırım was supposed to increase the lead in the account, but the referees intervened.
The referees made the dubious decision to cancel Braden Point’s goal, believing that Samsonov had managed to retain the puck. But video replays show that the Toronto goalie didn’t, and Point calmly carried him into the net. In most cases, a target would be pinned, but not this time.
It is worth noting that the reviewers continue to be positive towards the “leaves”. In the third period, they did not penalize Morgan Reilly for making an openly rude reception against Point, who was pushed dangerously onto the pitch by the visiting Canadian defender. Striker “Tampa” was unable to get up immediately due to his injury, after which he went to the locker room, where he was given medical care. It is noteworthy that, according to the results of the episode, “Toronto” not only avoided a major suspension (and Reilly could be punished with 5 minutes and even suspension before the meeting ended), but also gained a numerical advantage.
Due to Reilly’s dirty reception, a brawl broke out on the site immediately. So, the Russian striker “Lightning” Nikita Kucherov took revenge on the Canadian from “Toronto” for his friend, dropping him on the ice with a wrestling technique, and then Kuch was not afraid to get into a fight with almost 100 kilograms. Ryan O’Reilly. In total, Nikita was suspended for 7 minutes (2 for being rude to Reilly and 5 for fighting O’Reilly). According to the same points, Kucherov’s opponents were penalized respectively, while Steven Stamkos and Auston Matthews were suspended for another 5 minutes for the fight. Tampa was given an additional small fine for Darren Ruddish’s rudeness. And while Toronto might not have noticed the numerical advantage, at the end of regular time, the Canadians hit their target – a minute before the siren, with the Maple Leafs already playing with an empty net, O’Reilly managed to land an accurate shot. .
In overtime, “Tampa” continued to press on Samsonov’s door, but failed to defeat Ilya. The recovery of the Russian goalkeeper “Toronto” after Kucherov’s shot turned out to be especially spectacular. Striker “Lightning” deftly “lifted” the defender and beautifully threw from the backstroke, but hit the goalkeeper. One thing was missing for the whole drama – Toronto’s winning goal. And he died. And its author was … Morgan Reilly, who avoided a major move. The Canadian surprised Andrei Vasilevski and brought the win to the “leaves” with less than a minute to go into overtime.
2-1 – Toronto takes the lead in the series. Now “Tampa”, if not on the verge of historical failure, then close to it. The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, are finally getting closer to their dream of passing the first lap.
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