TORONTO | There are players who have the talent, intelligence and determination to determine the fate of a game. Victor Hedman belongs to this rare breed.
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Hedman, the 2020 Conn Smythe Trophy recipient, led by one goal and three assists in the Lightning’s 5-3 win over the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena yesterday.
“Heddy sets a good example. He’s been doing it all year, Corey Perry said. Whenever we need a player who stands up, he’s always there. »
As with the first game, the atmosphere in Toronto was charged. Too often quiet or busy sipping a glass of $19 Chardonnay, Leafs fans cheered, sang and shouted “MVP, MVP, MVP” for Auston Matthews until the end of the first period.
Hedman broke the party by scoring the game’s first goal with 2.5 seconds left in the opening period. The 6ft 6 defender showed great patience on this play, bringing the puck to him to give himself more space to hit Jack Campbell.
Hedman wasn’t the only giant in this game. There was also Andrei Vasilevskiy. He continued his unbeaten run in the playoffs in game after a loss by signing a 15th straight win. Nikita Kucherov also had a game that matched his immense talent with one goal and two assists.
In the 2020 and 2021 Conquests, Vasilevskiy was 14-0 with a 1.20 GAA and a .951 save percentage in games after his team lost.
Disorganized during the first meeting on the power play, the Lightning redeemed themselves with three goals in seven.
The devil is in the details
Auston Matthews won the Maurice-Richard Trophy in 2021 and 2022. He scored 60 goals this season, becoming the first player to reach that milestone since Steven Stamkos in 2011-2012. But it’s not just the goals with Matthews. In that second game, number 34 stole several pucks in the neutral zone and he also made an excellent defensive retreat against Stamkos. In the second half, Arizona native Ryan McDonagh hit deep in territory and then shoved a puck to Mitchell Marner as he lay flat on the ice. Without this game, without this extra effort, Michael Bunting Vasilevskiy wouldn’t put a spanner in the works.
Corey Perry is 36 but he still has the heart of a kid. At the end of the warm-up, he shot into the Leafs’ net at the other end of the ice. Fans didn’t like the gesture of booing a player who was originally from Ontario. If he missed the target on his punt, the puck went off course and hit another puck, Perry got back into play. He scored his second goal on a break after a perfect throw from Hedman. He hit Campbell with a shot between the pads.
Wayne Simmonds injured his team with two unnecessary penalties. The Flash scored the two times they ended up in the dungeon.