Maple Leaf knows that things aren’t over after their Game 5 win in Round 1 of the East.


Toronto — Auston Matthews In this way, I tried for a while in the Stanley Cup playoffs. So there is the Toronto Maple Leaf.

A raucous crowd at the Scotiabank Arena for Game 5 of Round 1 of the Eastern Conference quickly raged after the Tampa Bay Lightning led the first two goals. Toronto was severely overwhelmed in the first period, and the ghosts that had had the shortcomings of the previous postseason started to grow ugly hair.

But after Maple Leaf, everything has changed. Jason Speza said during break.

Matthews said, “‘Spez’ brought everyone into the room and told them a few things,” Matthews said. “The main message is that it wasn’t our best time and we have to go there and come back with a really good purpose.”

To change the story of the last playoff failure, Matthews opened the scoring at 13:54 in the 3rd period to complete a fierce comeback, giving Toronto a 4-3 win and 3-2 lead in this Best of -7 Series. The Maple Leaf forward swung his right arm twice to unleash a furious punch that he threw into the air.

You would have rocked the monkeys behind the backs of the whole team, at least for one night.

A message has been received from Speza.

“It just felt good with the crowd and the energy, there was no playoff vibe and it was very special, especially here in Toronto,” Matthews said. “It’s a big win for us, but we still have work to do. So it’s never a good night to beat two goals again. [losing] Hope and competition. But like I said, this is not for us.”

[RELATED: Complete Maple Leafs vs. Lightning series coverage]

But Maple Leafs are one step closer. The series returns to Tampa for Game 6 at the Amalie Arena on Thursday (7:30 PM ET, TBS, CBC, SN, TVAS, BSSUN), two-time defending champion Lightning needs a straight win to avoid being eliminated. .

Getting things done in Toronto has been a challenge for a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff series since 2004. It’s up to the best players to do exactly that and help close the book on a reputation for being short on crisis time.

At least the win was a good starting point. It was the Maple Leafs’ top gun, led by Matthews, that listened to Spezza and led the charge. Toronto’s sixth postseason series with forward Matthews. Mitchell Manor And William Nilanderand defender Morgan Riley. Maple Leaf has lost the previous 5. Captain John TavaresHe signed with Toronto in 2018 and has been part of his last three defeats.

The Maple Leafs found they were behind with two goals 6:11 in the game after forward. Stephen Stamcos and defender Victor Hedman Scored by 52 seconds. They drew 14-4 in the first period.

But the next 40 minutes was a different story.

Tavares scored in the 2nd and Rielly and Nylander scored 1:13 in the 3rd to give Toronto the first lead of the game. Tampa Bay defender ryan mcdonna A 3-3 tie at 8:17 set the stage for Matthews’ heroic performance.

Video: Maple Leafs win Game 2 to win Game 5, Game 4-3.

But give Marner some credit. Breaking in 2-1-1, he deliberately fired a pass from the Lightning keeper’s pad. Andrei Wasilewsky, Matthew delivers a juicy rebound to be buried. The two do theatrical work almost every day in practice. You succeeded in game 5.

“It’s a huge comeback win,” Nylander said. “I think we started a little slow, but we were able to fight back.

“We have to keep in mind that the mission isn’t over yet. So we’re happy to get the win, but it all depends on what happens next game in Tampa.”

Maple Leafs manager Sheldon Keep said he knows his team is trying to make history and understands that there are no guarantees if they get close. But if they can close the deal, it could be a turning point, he said.

“Well, I don’t think tonight will matter unless we take the next step, the hardest step,” he said. “But I’m sure we can make this happen. We’ll never look back on tonight as a big moment for our team.

“But we cannot live in this moment. This moment is over, we take the experience and look at what we have learned and the confidence to draw it out and the time to move forward. But we need to know what will happen next. We know it’s going to be difficult, so we have to focus on what’s next.”

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