Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning falls to Maple Leafs in OT (w/ video)

TAMPA — With goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy starting on back-to-back nights for just the second time in his pro career, both times coming in the past week, this was going to be a test for the 22-year-old.

And Vasilevskiy passed big time. For the second straight night, the Lightning rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn at least a point. And in Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs, Vasilevskiy was the main reason why with 32 saves.

"He was great," defenseman Anton Stralman said. "He gave us a chance to come back."

Ultimately, the Lightning (18-15-4) fell short in front of 19,092 at Amalie Arena, Nazem Kadri's power-play goal with 1:23 left in overtime the difference. But it has earned points in six of its past eight games and seven of 10 possible since Vasilevskiy took over for injured Ben Bishop as the No. 1.

In Wednesday's 4-3 overtime win against the Canadiens, "the guys played really well and did everything for me," Vasilevskiy said. "(Thursday) maybe I catch a couple pucks for our guys and we get one point. We're working together."

The Lightning had its chances late in regulation, with Ondrej Palat hitting the crossbar with five minutes to go. Tampa Bay also had a power play with just under three minutes left, but it went 0-for-5 with the man advantage in the game.

Kadri's winner came after Valtteri Filppula was called for goalie interference after colliding with Toronto's Antoine Bibeau, who was left on his back. Lightning coach Jon Cooper thought there should have been matching penalties.

"It's hard to swallow going down on that power play," Cooper said. "I had zero idea what (Filppula) could have done there. The only reason he goes into the goalie is because he's hooked and pushed."

The Maple Leafs scored the first two goals of the game, both coming off faceoffs and scrambles near the crease. Toronto star Auston Matthews continued his stellar rookie season with his 18th goal late in the first period. Midway through the second, Vasilevskiy couldn't corral a rebound, and Tyler Bozak was there in the crease to pounce on the loose puck.

But the Lightning kept chipping away. Three minutes after Bozak's goal, Brian Boyle provided a response, beating Bibeau with a shot from the left circle.

Then the Triplets took over. With about three minutes left in the second and Toronto's defensemen stuck on the ice in a long shift, Palat and Tyler Johnson made them pay on the forecheck. Palat and Johnson delivered hits, and Nikita Kucherov left a pass to Palat, who finished from the slot to tie the score.

Unlike Wednesday, when the Lightning's best period was the third, the Maple Leafs had the lion's share of the chances in the final 20 minutes.

"It was turnover heaven," Cooper said. "All the reasons why we took the game over and got back into it, we stopped doing that once (we tied it). We had our moments. But (a) portion of the third period, we forgot what got us back into the game and gave them a little bit of life."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Maple Leafs 1 1 0 1 3
Lightning 0 2 0 0 2

First Period1, Toronto, Matthews 18 (Hyman), 14:46. PenaltiesToronto bench, served by Marner (too many men on the ice), 5:31; Boyle, TB, (holding), 9:25; Zaitsev, TOR, (holding), 11:41; Kadri, TOR, (slashing), 16:49; Sustr, TB, (interference), 19:58.

Second Period2, Toronto, Bozak 7 (Van riemsdyk, Zaitsev), 9:26. 3, Tampa Bay, Boyle 9 (Drouin, Sustr), 12:12. 4, Tampa Bay, Palat 6 (Kucherov), 17:38. PenaltiesStralman, TB, (hooking), 2:03; Zaitsev, TOR, (holding), 13:28; Coburn, TB, (hooking), 18:31.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesHyman, TOR, (tripping), 17:10.

Overtime5, Toronto, Kadri 13 (Nylander, Matthews), 3:37 (pp). PenaltiesFilppula, TB, (interference), 2:01. Shots on GoalToronto 12-10-10-3—35. Tampa Bay 8-8-11—27. Power-play opportunitiesToronto 1 of 5; Tampa Bay 0 of 5. GoaliesToronto, Bibeau 1-1-0 (27 shots-25 saves). Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 9-5-2 (35-32).

Lightning falls to Maple Leafs in OT (w/ video) 12/29/16 [Last modified: Thursday, December 29, 2016 11:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Road to Atlanta: Tell us how you really feel, Jimbo


    Topped out

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 21:  Rashaan Evans #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide tackles Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) 775042495
  2. Journal: USF gets support on the road


    NEW ORLEANS — Perhaps it was the chance to witness the first USF-Tulane game ever, or an opportunity to frolic in the French Quarter for a weekend. Or both.

    USF running back D'Ernest Johnson (2) stiff-arms Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) on a run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH111
  3. Joey Knight's takeaways from USF-Tulane


    1. Saturday's triumph will do little to fortify USF's strength of schedule, but its strength-of-character quotient might have increased. On the road facing an eclectic offense, the Bulls built a huge lead, then made critical plays in the waning moments after some defensive lapses. In short, they survived. Isn't …

    South Florida defensive end Greg Reaves (41) reacts after a defensive stop against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH107
  4. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start


    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  5. Lightning journal: Tighter defense fuels hot start

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — See what happens when you keep the crease clean, limit the traffic in front of G Andrei Vasilevskiy and limit Grade A scoring chances?

    Yanni Gourde, right, gets a late first-period goal that follows a big save by Andrei Vasilevskiy.