The Toronto Maple Leafs got absolutely embarrassed by the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their first-round series in the 2023 Stanley Cuyp Playoffs Tuesday night. In front of their home fans, the Maple Leafs absorbed a 7-3 defeat at the hand of the reigning Eastern Conference champions. Making the loss even harder to swallow for Toronto and its fans is the fact that it gave a new generation of Maple Leafs fans the same nightmare the team’s supporters had to deal with three decades ago.
Via ESPN Stats & Info:
“Maple Leafs allowed 7+ goals in a home playoff game for the 1st time since April 29, 1993. They lost 7-3 to DET in Game 6 of 1993 Norris Division Semifinals.”
The Lighting struck three consecutive times in the first period, with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare getting Tampa Bay on board first with barely a minute through the contest. Anthony Cirelli followed that up with another goal seven minutes into the opening period. Nikita Kucherov would then find the back of the net on the power play with just four seconds remaining before the first intermission.
The Maple Leafs showed some life in the second period in which they scored back to back to cut Tampa Bay’s lead down to one, but that’s when the wheels fell off for Toronto, as the Lightning went on to net three unanswered goals before the second intermission.
The Maple Leafs knew Tampa Bay was not going to be an easy assignment in the first round, considering that the Lightning have an experienced core, but giving up seven goals in Game 1 was probably they didn’t think of as a worst-case scenario ahead of Game 1.
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