Tampa Bay Lightning @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Joffrey Lupul missed the game, having aggravated a lower body injury, it was announced Friday that he would require surgery and miss the rest of the regular season, Carter Ashton took his place against Tampa- he played a career-high 21 shifts. Neither team found the back of the net in the opening stanza, Steven Stamkos came closest when he had a puck blocked at the goal line by Tim Gleason.
After an intermission the tie broke, rookie Ondrej Palat scored his 21st with a snap shot past James Reimer’s glove. After Troy Bodie’s tripping penalty left the Leafs shorthanded, Palat stepped up again- scoring after Stamkos’ missed shot bounced behind the net and made its way to his stick. Victor Hedman, who assisted on both goals, put the game away in the next period with an empty net goal to make it 3-0. With the loss, the Leafs were eliminated from playoff contention for the eighth time in nine seasons. In Joe Bowen’s post-game words: “What was so promising, not so very long ago, has blown up in the Maple Leafs’ collective faces.”
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