Toronto Edges Tampa Bay 5-2 Through Jack Campbell Heroics

Following the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night the series shifted to the warm, sunny beaches of Tampa as the two teams met on Friday night with their best of seven series tied at one.

Many fans were an explosive game from the two teams and they didn’t disappoint.

The Lightning got into penalty trouble early after forward Patrick Maroon launched the puck in his own end into the crowd for a delay of game.

On the resulting power play the Leafs maintained a share of the possession of the puck and with less five seconds on the man advantage and after a flurry of blocked shots, a Mitch Marner quick snapshot bounced off the leg of Lightning defender Mikhail Sergachev and right into the path of Morgan Rielly.

Rielly placed a quick shot to his near post, beating a sprawling Andrei Vasilevskiy as the Leafs broke the early deadlock.

MO CASHES IN!

Originally tweeted by Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) on May 6, 2022.

After Toronto took seven minor penalties in the second game of the series (and to a lesser extent five in game one) Toronto was looking to stay out of the box for needless infractions.

Ilya Lyubushkin found himself in the box for two or less following a high sticking call just a little over seven minutes into the period, sending the Leafs dangerous penalty killing unit onto the ice.

As Lyubushkin’s penalty winded down, the Leafs managed to clear the puck right to the path of the big Russian defender who was coming out of the box.

Lybushkin found himself on a three on one rush with Pierre Engvall and Colin Blackwell, and with Engvall crashing the net, Lybushkin danced towards the Lightning net like a large Mikhail Barishnikov and sent a cross seem pass to a trailing Colin Blackwell who fired home his first goal of the postseason and giving the Leafs a 2-0 lead.

From defence to offence!! 🤩

Originally tweeted by Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) on May 7, 2022.

Many questions were placed at Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell before the series started as he was set to face off against a former Vezina and two time Stanley Cup winner in Andrei Vasilevskiy, which much to all of Leaf nations joy he answered these questions with great saves.

Campbell wasn’t tested too often during the first period, but with a Brayden Point wrist shot firing off his shoulder and than a quick stop on Point near the end of the period, Campbell was a big reason Tampa was off the scoresheet heading into the second.

David Kampf might be playing as the Leafs third line shutdown center and playing on the top penalty killing unit but that also doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have some scoring prowess as seen on his shorthanded breakaway goal during game one.

Kampf once again found himself with the puck on his stick and dashing into the Tampa zone as he would fire a quick wrist shot through the legs of former Leaf defenceman Zach Bogosian and over the shoulder of Vasilevskiy for his second goal in three games.

KAMPER!!! 🎯

Originally tweeted by Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) on May 7, 2022.

Over the course of the season Kampf has quickly proven Leaf GM Kyle Dubas’ ability to fill out good, cheap depth options for the team as he has been such an underrated and valuable addition to the side.

Toronto’s lead would shrink midway through the second period as a broken play in the neutral zone on a Lightning power play would see Tampa enter the Leaf zone with numbers as a quick passing play would tee Ross Colton up for a one time shot for his first goal of the playoffs.

To the mooooon!! 🚀

Originally tweeted by Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) on May 7, 2022.

Tampa would make the game nervy early in the third period, after the Leafs were unable to clear the puck from their zone a few times the puck ended up on the stick of Ondrej Palat with a lot of traffic infront of the Leafs crease.

Palat would fire on a hard wrist shot which would find its way through the legs of a sprawling Ondrej Kase, through some traffic and over the blocker of Jack Campbell to reduce the Leaf lead to one.

Originally tweeted by Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) on May 7, 2022.

Mounting Lightning pressure in the third period to try and tie it would see Jack Campbell have one of the best periods in the three games he’s started in so far. With saves on Nick Paul, Brandon Hagel and a ten-bell save on Lightning captain Steven Stamkos to preserve the Leaf lead.

JACK CAMPBELL GETS ACROSS!

Originally tweeted by Omar (@TicTacTOmar) on May 7, 2022.

Huge point-blank save from Jack Campbell

Originally tweeted by Omar (@TicTacTOmar) on May 7, 2022.

Miscommunication from Tampa with their net empty would see Pierre Engvall and Ilya Mikheyev on a breakaway with Engvall letting his teammate fire into the empty net and Mikheyev would add another empty netter with less than five seconds to play as the Leafs take the lead in the series by two games to one.

Jason Spezza and Justin Holl both drew into the series for the first time on Friday night as Sheldon Keefe has some options as to how he wants the bottom of his lineup to fill out.

Both Timothy Liljegren and Wayne Simmonds came out of the lineup for game three and it will be seen who Keefe will insert into the team when they look to put Tampa on the brink of elimination on Sunday if they can pull out their third win.

Game four is set to take place on Sunday evening at 7:00 in Tampa Bay.

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