Tampa Bay Lightning advance with Game 7 win vs. Toronto Maple Leafs however lose Brayden Point to damage

The two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning stored their three-peat hopes alive and the Toronto Maple Leafs suffered one other Game 7 disappointment with a 2-1 house loss Saturday night time.

Trade deadline acquisition Nick Paul scored twice and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had given up a minimum of three targets within the first six video games of the first-round sequence, was sensible, making 30 saves to provide the Lightning a ninth consecutive sequence victory.

But the Lightning even have an damage to fret about as they put together to face the No. 1 total seed Florida Panthers within the second spherical.

Forward Brayden Point limped off the ice within the first interval, unable to place weight on his leg after an ungainly fall.

Surprisingly, Point got here out for the second interval. But he went out for one shift and clearly was nonetheless laboring. He skated to the bench and stayed there and did not get again on the ice for the remainder of the sport.

“When Pointer got hurt it seemed to lock the entire team in,” stated Lightning coach Jon Cooper, who did not have an replace after the sport. “I don’t think we looked back.”

If Point cannot go in the beginning of the subsequent sequence, that might be laborious for the Lightning. He scored the time beyond regulation winner in Game 6 and led the Lightning with 14 targets throughout every of their two Stanley Cup runs.

The Maple Leafs haven’t received a playoff sequence since 2004 and this may need been their greatest shot after they completed with a franchise-record 115 factors.

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Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander shoots high on Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 7.

Toronto Maple Leafs ahead William Nylander shoots excessive on Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 7.

Auston Matthews scored 60 targets this season and Mitch Marner had 97 factors. Michael Bunting is a rookie of the yr finalist. William Nylander and Alexander Kerfoot had profession years. The Maple Leafs beefed up their protection with Mark Giordano and Ilya Lyubushkin earlier than the deadline. Goalie Jack Campbell, who had midseason struggles, got here again robust in April after an damage.

The Maple Leafs received 5-0 in Game 1, however the Lightning continued their playoff pattern of following a loss with a win (now 17-0). Toronto led by a purpose within the third interval of Game 6, however Tampa Bay compelled time beyond regulation on a 5-on-3 energy play purpose.

In Game 7, a John Tavares purpose was taken away within the second interval due to an interference name to Justin Holl. Morgan Rielly lastly tied the sport, however Paul scored ita little greater than three minutes later. Vasilevskiy stopped all 17 third-period pictures by Toronto.

“We’re getting sick and tired of feeling like this, so we got to make sure we’re ready for the upcoming season,” Marner stated.

Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitch Marner skates off as tje Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate their Game 7 victory.

Toronto Maple Leafs proper wing Mitch Marner skates off as tje Tampa Bay Lightning have fun their Game 7 victory.

Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid continued his domination of the primary spherical with a formidable purpose.

He drew a penalty on a rush to the online, retrieved the puck and tried a wraparound. Thwarted there, he moved farther away from the online and backhanded a shot previous Jonathan Quick.

McDavid additionally assisted on Cody Ceci‘s opening purpose within the 2-0 Oilers win. He leads the playoffs with 14 factors.

Patrice Bergeron says it is too quickly to determine future

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron took the time to hug teammates as they got here off the ice after a 3-2 Game 7 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

But if that is an indication that the pending unrestricted free agent was saying goodbye, it wasn’t, he stated.

“It’s always tough when it ends like that, so it was more to share with them and thanking them for battling together every day basically. It stings and it’s not the feeling that you want, but that being said, we did it together,” he advised reporters.

Bergeron stated it was too early to decide about his future.

“It’s too fresh right now,” he stated. “It still stings obviously from a hard-fought series and we came up short. Obviously I have to think about it, but I’m not there right now.”

Bergeron received the Stanley Cup in 2011 and has received the Selke Trophy (high defensive ahead) 4 instances and was a finalist six different instances.

Bruins ahead Brad Marchand referred to as Bergeron the spine of the workforce.

“We want him to come back, but whatever happens, he’s earned the right to make whatever decision he wants and take the time that he needs,” he stated. “I guess time will tell.”

Kings ahead Dustin Brown already had introduced he would retire, and Sunday’s loss to the Oilers was his final NHL recreation.

Brown performed in a franchise-record 1,295 regular-season video games throughout his 18 seasons with the Kings. He was captain when Los Angeles received Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014.

NHL decides in opposition to disciplining Flames’ Nikita Zadorov for hit

The Calgary Flames may have hard-hitting defenseman Nikita Zadorov out there for Game 7 in opposition to the Dallas Stars on Sunday after NHL Player Safety cleared him over his hit on Luke Glendening.

“While there was significant head contact on this play, Zadorov took a proper angle of approach, did not extend outward or upward, and hit through Glendening’s core,” the division stated after holding a listening to. “Therefore, under Rule 48.1 (i), the head contact was determined to be unavoidable.”

Zadorov has two assists, 18 hits and 20 penalty minutes within the playoffs.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: NHL playoffs: Lightning high Maple Leafs to maintain three-peat hopes alive

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