Leafs Beat Lightning To Even Series

BARRIO (TSN) – John Tavares registered his first playoff hat trick as the Toronto Maple Leafs responded in impressive fashion off a disastrous Game 1 with an emphatic 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday to even their first-round playoff series 1-1.

Mitch Marner scored twice and set up another, while William Nylander, with a goal and an assist, and Zach Aston-Reese provided the rest of the offence for Toronto.

Morgan Rielly tied a franchise record with four assists. Auston Matthews added two of his own for the Leafs, whose stars stepped up in a big way in a big moment.

Pulled in Tuesday’s ugly 7-3 loss, Ilya Samsonov made 20 saves for Toronto.

Toronto lost to Tampa in a tight first-round series last spring and hasn’t advanced in the post-season since 2004.

Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven series go Saturday and Monday in Florida.

(Posted April 21, 2023)

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