Game 3: Tampa Bay Lightning
Reimer was back in net the next night, Carlyle electing to keep Drew MacIntyre on the bench in spite of the double header. Things didn’t start well for Toronto, Radko Gudas scored with a seeing eye wrist shot through traffic less than a minute in to make it 1-0 Lightning. The Leafs responded well, Phil Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin scored one each to make it 2-1 less than ten minutes after Gudas’ opener. They couldn’t hold onto the lead for long, Steven Stamkos was left alone near the net twice in the final minutes and capitalized, scoring once with the man advantage and then again at even strength.
The first period ended on a scary note, Alexander Killorn drove Paul Ranger into the boards from behind with four seconds left in the frame. Ranger remained motionless on the ice for a few minutes before being stretchered off the ice. Killorn was given a five minute major and ejected from the game. Ranger was taken to hospital though he wasn’t seriously injured, his return date is unknown but he was not concussed on the play. Killorn will not face any supplemental discipline for the hit.
Stamkos completed a natural hat-trick shortly after the second period began, the Leafs’ poor zone exits giving rise to the goal. Jake Gardiner made it 4-3 in the third period with his tenth goal of the season, but Tyler Johnson’s powerplay goal moments later put a stop to any Toronto comeback efforts. The goal was disputed by the Toronto bench, many Leafs arguing to officials that Tim Gleason had been interfered with by Johnson just before the goal. Their complaints were not heeded, the game finishing 5-3.