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Maple Leafs pull off stunning Game 4 comeback, Alexander Kerfoot pots overtime winner

ByTeam BB

Apr 25, 2023


Alexander Kerfoot scored on the power play at 4:14 of overtime after Toronto wiped out a three-goal deficit in the third period, and the maple leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 Monday night to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in their first-round playoff matchup.

Alex Killorn scored twice in helping the Lightning build a 4-1 lead that the Maple Leafs erased with three goals — two by Auston Matthews — in a span of 6 minutes, 20 seconds. Morgan Rielly’s second goal of the series tied it 4-all at 16:04 of the third period.

It was the second time in three nights Toronto rallied late to force overtime. Ryan O’Reilly’s goal with 60 seconds left in regulation kept the Maple Leafs alive in Game 3, and O’Reilly won it at 19:45 of OT for a 2-1 series lead.

The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate a goal in overtime by Alexander Kerfoot #15 to win Game Four of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on April 24, 2023, in Tampa, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Mikhail Sergachev and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 shots and had a couple of big saves in the overtime period before Kerfoot redirected Mark Giordano past the goaltender for the win.

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Noel Acciari scored for the second straight game for Toronto, deflecting Justin Holl’s shot past Vasilevskiy early in the second period to briefly get the Maple Leafs within one goal before Tampa Bay pulled away with goals by Stamkos and Killorn that made it 4–1.

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It was 2-0 after one period, and Toronto was fortunate the deficit wasn’t bigger.

Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov stopped Brandon Hagel’s penalty shot a little less than eight minutes into the game, but the Lightning’s persistence paid off when Killorn — and then, Sergachev — scored their first goals of the series off perfect feeds from Nikita Kucherov.

steven stamkos

Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning shoots in the second period during Game Four of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena on April 24, 2023, in Tampa, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

In both cases, Samsonov was positioned to defend a possible shot from Kucherov when the Lightning star instead delivered the puck to Killorn and Sergachev from the right circle.

Killorn scored his first goal on a power play. His second came from a shot from the left circle that beat Samsonov to the far post for a three-goal lead.

Samsonov stopped 27 shots.

Auston Matthews celebrates goal

Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates a goal in the third period during Game Four of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on April 24, 2023, in Tampa, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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TOUGH POINTS

Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point was in the lineup Monday night after tumbling head-first into the boards while battling for a loose puck with Toronto’s Morgan Rielly.

Rielly was initially assessed a five-minute major penalty for boarding, however the call was eventually overturned. The hit sparked several skirmishes, including separate fights pitting Stamkos against Matthews and Kucherov against O’Reilly.

Point returned six minutes later and finished the game. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said earlier that the high-scoring center would be a game-time decision. Point had an assist on Sergachev’s goal, which put Tampa Bay up 2–0 in the first period.



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