Toronto Maple Leafs 1-4 Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Toronto Maple Leafs 1-4 Tampa Bay Lightning

Toronto Maple Leafs 1-4 Tampa Bay Lightning

"Might as well just jump in".

With the 4-1 victory, the Lightning split the season series with the Leafs but more importantly kept their 2017 playoff hope alive and well. They are just too solid from front to back.

The Penguins accumulated just four shots in the first period, tied for the fewest in the opening 20 minutes this season.

"We'll see [Saturday], I think it's close to playing", Malkin said after taking limited contact in the Penguins' optional practice at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.

Whether goaltender Frederik Andersen will come along as a date with his teammates in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs is not yet known. "Once you get in, anything can happen". We are excited to say the least.

How have the Capitals fared against the Maple Leafs and Bruins in the playoffs?

"It's not a switch we can flip, no", defenseman Seth Jones said.

"If you want to dip your toe into the water you're going to find out it's boiling". "But we're going to have to make it one (Sunday). Playoffs aren't going to be easy no matter how you skin the cat, so let's go into someone's building and try and give them hell".

James van Riemsdyk scored a pair in defeat and Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves for Toronto, a 2-0 lead melting away in a porous second period. Gourde has scored in five of the last seven games.

After Phil Kessel scored the 1-0 goal in the first period, "the kid traded for Kessel" - Kasperi Kapanen - answered with the 3-3 tally in the third, his first career National Hockey League goal (and what a pass by Matt Hunwick!).

As has been the case basically all week, the Islanders need to keep winning (in regulation or OT) while the Leafs keep losing in regulation. It was in the final minutes of the frame that rookie defenceman Nikita Zaitsev was plastered into the end-boards by Jackets captain Nick Foligno.

Not much changed during the early parts of the second period. The Tampa Bay Lightning refused to follow the script and, as coach Mike Babcock said, Friday will be a day of repairs, both to team structure and spirits, before the final two games against Pittsburgh and Columbus. Tormented by bad luck and at times hesitant to shoot during his scoring slump, he finally found satisfaction in front of the people, majority in the media, who questioned his will to win and his conditioning during a six-season span in Toronto.

Pittsburgh concludes their regular season Sunday on the road against the New York Rangers, a conceivable resting night for the Penguins captain ahead of the post-season.

The loss was Toronto's second in a row and magnified the importance of Saturday's game against the Penguins.

Auston Matthews tacked on an empty-netter for his 40th of the season with 3.4 seconds to go. The Caps ended with 118 points, including a 32-7-2 record on home ice. Van Riemsdyk finished with six shots on goal for the second straight game.

"To be able to pull out this one was a pretty good feeling". On Sunday, Toronto won 59 percent of its draws mostly because of how strong the two veterans were.

But based on the recent results, it shouldn't make a major difference who is across the ice from the Capitals in the first round. With Josh Archibald off for tripping at 16:51, the Leafs mustered next to nothing, at times keeping the puck in their own zone for long stretches.

Leafs Tyler Bozak is caught between Vladislav Namestnikov and Luke Witkowski of the Lightning. Toronto's a very fast team and Washington has struggled a bit against faster teams.