The Lightning refused to give the Maple Leafs a 3-1 lead. Jon Cooper’s men netted five unanswered shots to progress to a 7-3 win that tied the Lightning 2-2 in the series.
Just seven minutes and 58 seconds was enough for the Lightning to create an already comfortable three-goal lead.
Captain Steven Stamkos was quick to warn the Maple Leafs. After just a minute of play, Stamkos dropped a one-timer that defeated Jack Campbell, giving Tampa Bay control of the game’s first shot.
Then Pierre-Edouard Bellemare used a good moody puck to jump onto the disc in front of the net and push it past the goal line. The Lightning took a 2-0 lead after just over five minutes of play.
One thing is certain, the Leafs had a bad fifteen minutes. Even Pat Maroon put his shoulder behind the wheel, releasing some of his best maneuvers to up the Blitz’s priority to three goals.
The Lightning continued their dominance into the middle period. Ross Colton scored after 3:17 for the second time in a row to make it 4-0 for Tampa. Colton fired what appeared to be a harmless shot, but it defeated Campbell. The goalkeeper then glanced at his mitt and was visibly surprised that it hadn’t saved.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Leafs gave the Lightning a two-man power play. Toronto had their hands full with Lightning attack excellence, and it was none other than Corey Perry who allowed Tampa to hit the target for a fifth time. Perry accepted an excellent cross pass from Nikita Kucherov to score the 47th goal of his career in the playoffs.
Moments later, Sheldon pulled Keefe Campbell out of the match in favor of Erik Kallgren. It was his first playoff appearance of his career.
Forward William Nylander saved the honor for the Maple Leafs in the third period. He deflected an Auston Matthews pass on the power play to reduce the lead to four goals.
Nylander later fattened his personal stats further. He accepted a nice pass from John Tavares to beat Andrei Vasilevskiy and put the Leafs within three goals of the Lightning.
With more than five minutes remaining, Ondrej Palat took advantage of a Nylander turnover to score into an empty goal.
Jake Muzzin then unleashed a shot from the blue line to make it 6-3, then Colton took advantage of an empty net to score his second goal of the game.
Game 5 is Tuesday in Toronto.