Maple Leafs face elimination after OT loss

Nabil Anas
Nabil Anas

Global Courant 2023-05-08 06:49:45

Sam Reinhart scored at 3:02 overtime as the Florida Panthers defeated the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Sunday to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their second-round playoff series.

The center grabbed the puck behind the net and wrapped it around on a surprised Joseph Woll before the Panthers fell off the bench. It was Reinhart’s fifth goal of the playoffs.

Anthony Duclair and Carter Verhaeghe had the other goals for Florida, which won its first two games on the road and can close out the best-of-seven game with a sweep back Wednesday at the FLA Live Arena.

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Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves for the Panthers, who lead 3-0 in a series for the first time since 1996.

LOOK | Reinhart lifts Panthers over Maple Leafs in OT:

Reinhart’s overtime winner for Panthers puts Maple Leafs on the brink of elimination

Florida takes a commanding 3-0 lead in their second round playoff series against Toronto as Sam Reinhart scores 3:02 in overtime.

Erik Gustafsson and Sam Lafferty answered for Toronto. Woll stopped 18 shots after replacing Ilya Samsonov, who was injured in a collision with Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn in a friendly fire case early in the second period. Samsonov made eight saves.

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The Leafs fell 3-1 on the road in the playoffs – all in OT – and have lost three in a row for the first time since late October after a rough night for star forwards Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and John Tavares.

Only four teams have come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series in NHL history: Toronto (1942), New York Islanders (1975), Philadelphia Flyers (2010) and the Los Angeles Kings (2014).

Toronto defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round for the Original Six franchise’s first series win in nearly two decades. Florida, meanwhile, upset the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins with three straight wins – including two in OT – after trailing 3-1 in that series.

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Leading 1-0 after Sunday’s first period, Samsonov was injured 37 seconds into the second period when Schenn bent into his netminder trying to thwart a Florida scoring opportunity. The Russian lay down and was watched by the Toronto coach before leaving.

LOOK | Samsonov leaves game injured after collision with Schenn

Maple Leafs goaltender Samsonov exits Game 3 after colliding with teammate Schenn

Toronto goalie Ilya Samsonov leaves the game injured after colliding with teammate Luke Schenn early in the second period.

Woll, who was playing the third period of Game 1 against Tampa in the Leafs’ 7–3 final round, came off the bench relieved with Schenn in the box for tripping.

Toronto nearly ended the Florida power play, but Duclair scored his second of the postseason on a nice deck to tie things at 2:36.

The Leafs went back to the front at 7:32 when Gustafsson, who came into the lineup as Toronto opted to strip 11 forwards and seven defenders with winger Matthew Knies (concussion) out, saw his pass bounce up front into Florida’s goal for his first off the stick from blue liner Marc Staal after some nice work from William Nylander.

But the Panthers, who had two wins in Toronto, thanks in large part to Bobrovsky’s stellar play, and entered a five-game playoff win streak that set a franchise record, tied the score again at 12:28 as Verhaeghe batted in his fourth run. .

Woll made a big stop on Anton Lundell with less than seven minutes left to keep the Leafs’ hopes alive before huge saves for Sam Bennett on a pair of blatant turnovers to force overtime.

Toronto opened the scoring 2-on-1 at 2:26 of the first when Lafferty made a one-off pass from David Kampf after Auston Matthews hit the post less than 20 seconds into the game.

The Panthers did their best to limit Toronto’s support inside the FLA Live Arena with a ticketing policy that required a U.S. address for the first 24 hours of seat sales, but that didn’t stop thousands of blue and white sports fans from leaving the building. to enter.

Toronto has only won one series in its history after dropping its first two home games. The first was in 1942 when the Leafs fell 3–0 to the Detroit Red Wings before coming back to win it in seven—an NHL first—in the Stanley Cup Final.


Maple Leafs face elimination after OT loss

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