Toronto Maple Leafs 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 7
It was a poor night for the Toronto Maple Leafs as Nikita Kucherov had two goals and two assists in a big 7-3 win for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday evening.
Also, Steven Stamkos had a goal and three assists. Meanwhile, Brayden Point had two goals and an assist.
Meanwhile, Ondrej Palat and Kevin Shattenkirk also scored for the Lightning. The travelling side also got 25 saves from Andrei Vasilevskiy. Anthony Cirelli also added three assists.
John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Andreas Johnsson, scored for the Maple Leafs. It was an uncharacteristic off-night for Frederik Andersen. The goaltender allowed seven goals on 28 shots.
This led to Andersen being replaced by Michael Hutchinson in the third period. The replacement stopped all five shots that he faced.
The Lightning led 4-3 after the opening period.
Point had previously missed Tampa Bay’s previous three games this season after offseason hip surgery. But he made up for the lost time by jamming home a loose puck at 2:28 of the first.
However, Johnsson scored his first goal of the season on a one-timer at 4:19. Meanwhile, Victor Hedman was off for cross-checking.
Then, the new Maple Leafs captain Tavares scored his first of the season, as he tipped in Justin Holl’s shot at 7:46 to put Toronto 2-1 ahead.
The Lighting scored twice within two minutes to regain their lead.
Kucherov scored his second this season on a power play at 11:24. This was a blast from above the left circle.
Then, Shattenkirk scored his third of the season, as he pounced on a loose puck and skated around Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly before putting in a backhander at 12:45.
Meanwhile, just after the Lightning had hit the post at one end, Matthews notched his sixth goal this season at 17:56. He stuffed in the rebound of Jake Muzzin’s shot to tie the game at three apiece.
However, Stamkos scored his third this season from low in the left circle on a power play at 19:17. Before, Tampa had the only second-period goal with Point redirecting Kucherov’s shot at 10:46.
Also, Palat scored his second of the season at 3:56 of the third when his shot from the left circle bounced in after a deflection off Kasperi Kapanen.
However, things can only get better for the Maple Leafs, and they will have a chance to rectify this against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.