(Toronto) Auston Matthews broke the tie late in the third period and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Tuesday in Game 5 of their first-round series.
The Maple Leafs lead the series 3-2. They will have the opportunity to win their first series since 2004 on Thursday in Tampa.
Matthews moved the ropes with 6:06 left in regulation, enjoying a comeback after a well-thought-out low shot from Mitchell Marner.
Ryan McDonagh had thrown a cold shower on the spectators gathered at Scotiabank Arena by creating the 3-3 tie some five minutes earlier.
William Nylander had a goal and two assists, and John Tavares had a goal and an assist, while Morgan Rielly also had a goal for the Maple Leafs. Jack Campbell stopped 32 shots.
Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman were the other Lightning scorers. Nikita Kucherov had two assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves.
The Maple Leafs rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final 40 minutes.
Rielly eventually tied the game 2-2 after 3:01 of play in the third period, then Nylander caused hysteria at Scotiabank Arena by giving the Leafs the lead 73 seconds later.
It took the third goal of the playoffs from the one who scored 60 during the regular season, however, to bring the Leafs close to a second-round victory. After Matthews’ goal, Campbell closed the door on the Lightning.
Campbell made one last key save late in the game, barely stopping a Hedman shot with his mitt.