Friday, 3 a.m.
One step up, one step back.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, one night after one of their most impressive overtime victories over Montreal, had a second straight comeback blunted in an overtime loss to Toronto. This time, they fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2.
The Bolts came from a 2-0 deficit to tie Thursday night’s game, but lost when Valterri Filppula was called for goaltender interference, setting up the team’s winning power play. Nazem Kadri scored from in-close for the winner.
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"It’s hard to swallow going down on that, on a power play, on that," Cooper said. "I have zero idea what (Filppula) could’ve done there. The only reason he goes into the goalie is because he’s hooked and pushed, so it’s tough. Tough to swallow when they only take one guy there. If you’re calling them, you take them both, but it happens. Refs make the call. That’s the way they saw it, and you’ve got to accept it. We had a chance to kill it off and get it down and we didn’t and they scored so credit to them.”
The Maple Leafs got the first-ever NHL win from goalie Antoine Bibeau, who stopped 25 shots.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 shots for Tampa Bay in the loss.
“I thought we let off a little bit on managing the puck," defender Anton Stralman said. "We turned too many pucks over. They’re a fast team, a lot of skill up front and the back end. They made some plays, got some chances. Vasy hung in there and played well. But, we had some chances too. Palat rings one off the bar there and a couple other chances, that power play, there were a couple tips in front. Overall, I thought it was a pretty even game. It was a good game. It was hard fought. It was fun.”
After Toronto took an early 2-0 lead, the Bolts got back into the game on goals from Brian Boyle and Ondrej Palat. However, they stopped scoring afterward.
“We stopped doing what got us back into the game,” Cooper said.
Tampa Bay plays Carolina Saturday night.