Matthews’ 3-point game powers Maple Leafs past Lightning 5-0


TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews had two goals and an assist and Jack Campbell made 23 saves in the second playoff shutout of his career as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0 Monday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoffs series.

Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists. Jake Muzzin scored and David Kampf added a goal on a short-handed breakaway for Toronto, which killed off five Lightning power plays, including an early five-minute major.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 29 shots for the Lightning.

The second game of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday in Toronto.

Teams that have won the series opener hold an all-time record of 499-228, including a 9-6 mark last season.

Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe predicted a “borderline violent” series, and that’s exactly how things unfolded seven minutes into the first period. Toronto winger Kyle Clifford pasted Tampa’s Ross Colton from behind into the boards to earn a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

After having already killed off one minor penalty, Toronto had the better chances down a man as Alexander Kerfoot shot off the post on a 2-on-1.

The Maple Leafs failed to convert on two subsequent power plays, but moved ahead with 1:41 left in the period when Muzzin’s point shot through a screen beat Vasilevskiy.

William Nylander nearly made it 2-0 late in the period on a breakaway after blocking a shot, but failed to beat Vasilevskiy through the pads.

Toronto called a timeout ahead of a 5-on-3 power play in second and took just 11 seconds to score with five forwards on the ice. Marner fed Matthews, whose shot beat Vasilevskiy to the short side.

Tampa got its fourth man advantage later in the period, but Kampf beat Victor Hedman to a loose puck as Toronto once again showed its superior speed before beating Vasilevskiy to make it 3-0 at 9:27.

Campbell had to be sharp at the other end on another Lightning power play. He made a nice blocker stop on Brayden Point off a Nikita Kucherov feed. Steven Stamkos then heeled a one-timer.

The Leafs put the game out of reach at 16:39, when Marner snapped his long playoff goal drought. The winger took a slick pass from Morgan Rielly off the rush and beat Vasilevskiy for his first playoff goal since April 11, 2019, a stretch of 18 games.

Toronto kept pressing into the third period. Matthews made it 5-0 when Vasilevskiy misplayed the puck behind his net and he scored his second at 8:16.

The game took another violent turn midway through the period with multiple fights on one shift. Rielly cut Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta in one skirmish, and the Lightning’s Pat Maroon and Corey Perry, and Toronto’s Wayne Simmonds and Ilya Lyubushkin were also sent to the locker rooms with misconducts.

The Leafs have lost seven straight post-season series and haven’t advanced to the second round since 2004. They absorbed a crushing seven-game loss last season when the Montreal Canadiens stormed back from a 3-1 deficit.

The Lightning have won eight straight series since a stunning sweep at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2019, following a 128-point campaign and the franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy.

NOTES: The Maple Leafs hit the ice for Game 1 on the 55-year anniversary of the franchise’s last Stanley Cup. … Toronto had winger Ondrej Kase in the lineup after he missed the last 20 regular-season games with a concussion. Top-line winger Michael Bunting sat out a fourth straight contest with an undisclosed injury. … Forward Jason Spezza was a healthy scratch for Toronto. … Zach Bogosian sat out for the Lightning. … The third and fourth games in the series are set for Friday and Sunday in Tampa.


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