Lucas Viveiros | The Avro Post

It wasn’t the complete 60 minutes the Toronto Maple Leafs were searching for Tuesday evening, as the team fell to the Lightning 4-3 after the team from Tampa Bay struck three times in the third period.

In a game which started with so much promise for the Buds, the resiliency and experience of the Lightning eventually payed off in the third period.

The match opened up with Fredrik Andersen back in goal, and the Leafs pushing the pace of the game, using their speed to their advantage.

James Van Riemsdyk added to his red hot play of late, opening the scoring with a pair of tallies, giving him 33 on the campaign.

Zach Hyman also got on the score sheet (14) with a blazing shot from the top of the right circle, eluding Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The game looked under Leaf control until a defensive breakdown with just over three minutes left in the second.

On the play, Patrick Marleau turned the puck over resulting in a seeing eye shot by Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman beating Fredrik Andersen glove-side.

The Lightning continued their offensive push to start the third, with goals from McDonagh, Kucherov, and Killorn all within eight minutes of each other, evaporating the once comfortable Leaf lead.

The Maple Leafs were never able to respond, and ultimately were not able to make any ground on the Boston Bruins with the loss.

Coach Babcock was not pleased with his team’s effort in the third frame saying, “we weren’t good enough in the third, and we have to be better – tonight we had lots of good players, but we didn’t have enough good players.”

This must be a learning lesson for this young Leaf team, as in three weeks time they could find themselves playing this club in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Buds are back in action against the NHL’s best team, in Nashville Thursday Evening.

Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. from Bridgestone Arena and can be seen on Sportsnet Ontario.

More news from the ice

  • Star forward Auston Matthews missed his tenth straight game, as he continues his road to recovery – he skated with the team prior to the game and looks very close to a return
  • Winger Leo Komarov was also seen skating, but wearing a red non contact jersey
  • Defensemen Nikita Zaitsev skated as well, recovering from an illness
  • Forward James Van Riemskdyk played in his 600th NHL game
  • Tampa Bay winger Ondrej Palat played in his first game after missing 26 games with an ankle injury
  • Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov tied alumni Fredrik Modin for fifth all-time in goals for the franchise (145)
  • Kucherov also added to his NHL lead in points (94)
  • With the win, Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy sets a new franchise record for wins by a goaltender with 41
  • Lightning star centre Steven Stamkos was fined $5,000 for a dangerous trip on Leafs defensemen Morgan Rielly

More coverage to follow. Image from the Lightning website.

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