(3A) Lightning at (2A) Maple Leafs
Jap Conference First Spherical, Game 1
7: 30 p.m. ET: ESPN2, CBC, SN, TVAS, BSSUN
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning are very acquainted with every other entering Game 1 of their Jap Conference First Spherical sequence at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.
Every crew posted a lopsided victory in games for the duration of the previous month. Toronto defeated Tampa Bay 6-2 on April 4 and the Lightning responded with an 8-1 victory on April 21. Every game change into played at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
It’s a homecoming of kinds for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who grew up about 20 minutes north of Toronto in Markham, Ontario. He acknowledged the frenzy of being again has subsided for the duration of his 14-season NHL profession.
“I purchased to own dinner at my fogeys’ condominium closing evening,” he acknowledged. “Various than that, there’s loads much less folks hitting me up for tickets.”
One of many Maple Leafs’ high goals is to analysis out to preserve Stamkos in analysis. The ahead scored a non-public NHL-perfect and Lightning-excessive 106 parts (42 needs, 64 assists) in 81 games.
“I’ve always had the belief in myself that I is steadily a distinction maker on this thing after I fetch on the ice,” he acknowledged. “Probabilities are you’ll per chance per chance be composed always searching to showcase folks pass.”
So are the Maple Leafs, who’re trying for their first sequence take care of within the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2004. Coach Sheldon Keefe acknowledged his crew is able to embody the moment.
“I judge it is reasonably about a issues,” he acknowledged. “The maturity of our crew, shining that we have been building toward this, and likewise lawful the rapidly turnaround.”
Toronto (54-21-7) accomplished 2d within the Atlantic Division and Tampa Bay (51-23-8) change into third. The Lightning had been 2-1-1 within the regular season sequence; the Maple Leafs had been 2-2-0.
Groups that take care of Game 1 are 499-228 (68.8 percent) a success a perfect-of-7 NHL playoff sequence, including 6-2 within the first round closing season.
Here are 3 keys for Game 1:
1. Simmonds, Clifford fetch the name
With Keefe anticipating a rugged, “bordering on violent,” sequence, forwards Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford will play on the fourth line.
“Now we own talked to them the previous couple of weeks about what we wish from them and what our expectations are,” Keefe acknowledged. “Share of what they insist, for sure, is the physicality and the presence and the used journey.”
Ragged ahead Jason Spezza is a wholesome scratch but Keefe acknowledged he’ll be inserted into the lineup one day for the duration of the sequence.
2. Transferring into Vasilevskiy’s head, and on his doorstep
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has played every minute of the previous two postseasons, every of which ended with the Lightning a success the Stanley Cup, and closing season he change into voted the Conn Smythe Trophy as essentially the most respected participant within the playoffs. For the Maple Leafs to overcome his heroics, they are able to must own a gain-front presence and beget monitors in front of him.
The Maple Leafs know that’s more uncomplicated acknowledged than accomplished when the Lightning own defensemen love Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh preserving their goaltender.
“I judge it’ll cast off reasonably about a mind vitality and physicality and lawful being keen to cast off a beating to fetch in front of him,” Simmonds acknowledged.
3. Quick Lightning commence will enhance stress on Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs haven’t won a postseason sequence in 18 years so any detrimental traits that happen early on will attach Toronto on the brand new seat.
The dwelling fans will likely be pumped for the game but would possibly per chance per chance per chance well flip on the Maple Leafs quick if issues commence going south.
Tampa Bay is aware of that and can strive to milk that very facet by getting off to a snappy commence.
“Those guys over there are per chance extremely motivated on story of of what’s occurred,” Stamkos acknowledged. “Now we own had some screw ups within the previous, and it indubitably motivates you. You establish now not must wade via that all yet again.”
Lightning projected lineup
Ondrej Palat — Steven Stamkos — Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel — Brayden Point — Anthony Cirelli
Alex Killorn — Ross Colton — Nicholas Paul
Pat Maroon — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Corey Perry
Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh — Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev — Cal Foote
Scratched: Riley Nash, Zach Bogosian
Maple Leafs projected lineup
Alexander Kerfoot — Auston Matthews — Mitchell Marner
Ilya Mikheyev — John Tavares — Ondrej Kase
William Nylander — David Kampf — Pierre Engvall
Kyle Clifford — Colin Blackwell — Wayne Simmonds
Morgan Rielly — Ilya Lyubushkin
Heed Giordano — Timothy Liljegren
Jake Muzzin — TJ Brodie
Scratched: Jason Spezza, Justin Holl, Nicholas Abruzzese
Injured: Michael Bunting (decrease body), Rasmus Sandin (knee), Petr Mrazek (groin)
Point will play after lacking two of the Lightning’s closing six games on story of of a decrease-body hurt. … Kase will play for the first time since March 19. He neglected the closing 20 regular-season games on story of of a concussion. … Bunting participated in an optional morning skate however the ahead will now not play.