Maple Leafs. Lightning. Game 7, Saturday night. What more can you ask for?
Toronto and Tampa Bay wrap up their first-round series with Game 7 at Scotiabank Arena. The Lightning forced a deciding game in the series after winning Game 6 on Thursday, thanks to Brayden Point’s OT goal.
The Maple Leafs are looking to close out their first playoff series win since 2014. They have lost four straight Game 7s and five consecutive winner-take-all contests and are 0-9 in series-clinching games since 2013.
“I think we came out a little bit flat in those games,” Leafs forward William Nylander said of the team’s previous Game 7s. “Maybe a little bit scared to lose. We don’t need to be scared to lose (Saturday night).”
All of the fear can be wiped away with a victory at home. This feels like a different Maple Leafs team, one that can make a legitimate run at a Cup if it can get past the defending back-to-back champions.
In their way is a Lightning team that may not feel as dominant as it was the last two seasons but is still dangerous and can steal a series. Tampa Bay is aiming to become the first team since the Islanders in the 1980s to win three consecutive Stanley Cups.
“I don’t want anybody to sit here and say ‘Well, is it easier because we won two Cups if the Leafs get the best of us tonight? It’s OK?’ That’s BS,” coach Jon Cooper said of the Lightning’s mindset heading into Game 7. “We’re standing here on the cusp of greatness and why the hell wouldn’t we charge through that door?”
The fate of these two teams will be decided Saturday night. Will the Maple Leafs finally get that elusive series-clinching win, or will the Lightning send Toronto home early yet again?
End 1st period: Lightning 1, Maple Leafs 0
7:53 p.m.: What a save at the buzzer by Vasilesvkiy. Hedman turns the puck over and Mitch Marner feeds Michael Bunting on the back door. Vasilevskiy makes the save, not usre it would have counted if it went in anyway. 1-0 Lightning after 20 minutes
7:50 p.m.: Moments after the Paul goal, Steven Stamkos takes a holding penalty. 2nd power play chance for the Maple Leafs.
7:49 p.m.: GOAL! Nick Paul capitalizes on a 3 on 2 to open the scoring for the Lightning. He had dropped the puck to Ross Colton, whose one-timer changed directions on Campbell. He made the save, but puck bounced right to Paul who needed just one hand on the stick to knock it in.
Tampa opens the scoring in Game 7 🚨⚡️ pic.twitter.com/DsoFCqRR5n
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) May 14, 2022
7:47 p.m.: Brayden Point looks like he’s in a ton of pain. Tried to stop and looks like his right leg gave out. Was grabbing high on the right thigh.
7:45 p.m.: Less than four minutes to go, still 0-0. Both Vasilevskiy and Campbell look sharp early, each team exchanging opportunities. Edge goes to Leafs in high-danger scoring chances, but not by much.
7:37 p.m.: Multiple “Sooouuuuuppp” chants ring out at Scotiabank Arena. Two stop by Campbell on Steven Stamkos back to back, then stopping two shots from Victor Hedman at the point. Back to 5 on 5.
7:33 p.m.: Penalty to Mark Giordano for delay of game. Alex Killorn tries to dump the puck in ad Giordano deflects it up and over the glass. Power play upcoming for Tampa.
7:33 p.m.: Penalty expires. Just one shot for Toronto on the PP.
7:30 p.m.: Brandon Hagel heads off for tripping Kerfoot. Leafs get the first power play of the night. 4-for-25 on the power play this series.
7:24 p.m.: Not a ton of scoring chances, but John Tavares with the best chance thus far. Lightning turnover down low in their own zone and Alexander Kerfoot feeds Tavares in front, but pad save by Vasilevskiy.
7:15 p.m.: Puck is down, Game 7 here we go!
7 p.m.: Starting lines for each side.
Jon Cooper starts Killorn, Point, Palat + Hedman, Cernak
Sheldon Keefe counters with Bunting, Matthews, Marner + Muzzin, Brodie
Game 7 minutes away
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) May 14, 2022
6:30 p.m.: As anticipated, it will be Andrei Vasilevskiy in net for the Lightning, Jack Campbell for the Maple Leafs. Neither goalie has been particularly stellar in the series, but one strong performance in Game 7 could be all that’s needed.
What channel is Lightning vs. Maple Leafs Game 7 on?
- Date: Saturday, May 14
- TV channel: TNT (U.S.), Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports (Canada)
- Live streaming: Sling TV
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs Game 7 will air on TNT in the United States. In Canada, the game will air on Sportsnet and CBC in English and TVA Sports in French.
Viewers in the U.S. can stream every NHL playoff game live on Sling TV. With the Sling Orange Sports Extra package, they get $10 off their first month with access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and TNT. NHL playoff games on ABC are simulcast on ESPN3, which is included with Sling Orange, available for $35 per month ($25 the first month for new subscribers).
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs Game 7 start time
- Date: Saturday, May 14
- Time: 7 p.m. ET | 4 p.m. PT
Game 7 of the Lightning vs. Maple Leafs series will start shortly after 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 14. The game will be played at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs Game 7 odds
Maple Leafs: -116
Odds provided by Sports Interaction