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Lightning hold off Maple Leafs to win Game 7, advance to second round

We’re recapping each game in the first round between the Bolts and Leafs in the 2022 NHL playoffs.

Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal at 11:13 of the third period against the New York Islanders and is joined by Nikita Kucherov at UBS Arena on April 29, 2022 in Elmont, New York. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which got underway on Monday, May 2. The Lightning will be looking to three-peat, something that hasn’t been done since the 1980’s. The Maple Leafs have had a string of bad luck in the postseason, but are looking to reverse their fortunes in 2022 after an MVP season from Auston Matthews.

Here we’re going to be tracking the results from the Lightning-Maple Leafs series in the first round.

Lightning win series 4-3

Game 1: Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 0

The Lightning’s title defense did not get off to a good start in Game 1 vs. the Maple Leafs. Toronto shut out Tampa Bay 5-0 to take a 1-0 series lead. Goalie Jack Campbell made 23 saves and recorded his second playoff shutout in his career. Soon-to-be Hart Trophy winner, Matthews led the Leafs with two goals and an assist. Mitchell Marner also had three points and Ondrej Kase had two points in the win.

Game 2: Lightning 5, Maple Leafs 3

Recap — The defending champs evened their first-round series with the Leafs 1-1 with a victory on Wednesday night in Game 2. Tampa Bay will head home having stolen home ice advantage and with some momentum. This is the worst-case scenario for Toronto, which looked dominant in Game 1. The Lightning power play carried the offense with two goals, including one from Nikita Kucherov, who had three points. Victor Hedman had four points (one goal, three assists).

Game 3: Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 2

Recap — The Maple Leafs responded after a loss at home with a road win in Game 3 on Friday. Jack Campbell made 32 saves while the depth lines showed up big time for Toronto. Ilya Mikheyev had two goals while Pete Engvall had three assists in the win.

Game 4: Lightning 7, Maple Leafs 3

Recap — The Bolts were resilient again following a loss in the playoffs, picking up an easy win at home in Game 4 to even the series 2-2. The Lightning scored all seven goals at even strength in the victory. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves while Ross Colton had two goals.

Game 5: Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 3

Recap — This is something we haven’t seen from a Maple Leafs team in a while. Resilience. The Leafs were down 2-0 in the first period of Game 5 on Tuesday night. Toronto was able to cut into that lead in the second 2-1 thanks to a power-play goal by John Tavares. The Leafs would take the lead in the third period 3-2 on a pair of goals before Ryan McDonagh tied it 3-3. A power-play goal from the Hart hopeful Auston Matthews gave the Maple Leafs a 4-3 and the eventual win. Now Toronto will head back to the Bay to try and win its first first-round series in a while.

Game 6: Lightning 4, Maple Leafs 3

Recap — It seemed over, but then the ghosts and history got in the way. The Leafs fell behind 2-0 for the second straight game, and for the second straight game they roared back to take a 3-2 lead, this time just moments before the second intermission. But two consecutive high sticking penalties gave the Bolts a 5v3 for 1:45 of ice time, and Nikita Kucherov cashed in to tie. In OT it was the frequent Lightning playoff hero Brayden Point extending the series, with a stuffer past Jack Campbell at 18:04.

Game 7: Lightning 2, Maple Leafs 1

Recap — Tampa Bay was able to hang on and knock out the Maple Leafs with a win in Game 7 on Saturday night. The Lightning were without C Brayden Point for most of the win. Nick Paul scored both goals for Tampa Bay, which will face the Florida Panthers in the second round of the playoffs. Point had to exit in the second period due to a lower-body injury. His status heading into Round 2 will be big.