Tuesday's NHL: Lightning face elimination; Kings beat Oilers in OT

Eduardo A. Encina
Tampa Bay Times

Toronto — The Lightning went into the third period Tuesday night just 20 minutes away from putting the Maple Leafs’ season on the brink.

Instead, the Lightning’s drive for three straight Stanley Cups is in peril, one game from elimination following a 4-3 Game 5 loss.

Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates his goal against Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy with teammate Mitchell Marner (16) during third period of Game 5 on Tuesday in Toronto.

Despite an early two-goal lead, the Lightning couldn’t survive a furious Leafs surge, capped by two Toronto goals in a one-minute, 13-second stretch early in the third.

A strong defensive effort through the first two periods fell flat in the final period as the Lightning allowed the odd-man rushes that haunted them at times in the regular season, no miscue bigger than a turnover in the neutral zone that gave Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews a 2-on-1 breakaway that led to the winning goal by Matthews.

After quieting the home crowd in the first period, Morgan Rielly’s power-play goal 3:01 into the third brought Scotiabank Arena to life. And William Nylander’s goal at the 4:14 mark made the crowd raucous.

Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh evened the score at the 8:17 mark, but Matthews got a wrister past Andrei Vasilevskiy with 6:04 remaining.

The Lightning’s big guns struck early, with goals by Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman 52 seconds apart, each one set up by Nikita Kucherov.

More games

(At) Carolina 5, Boston 1: Rookie Seth Jarvis scored twice and Antti Raanta finished with 34 saves to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 5-1 on Tuesday night for a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Defensemen Jaccob Slavin and Tony DeAngelo scored first-period goals for the Hurricanes, and Vincent Trocheck added an empty-netter.

The series has yet to see a team secure a road win. It wasn’t close to happening in this one, either, with the Hurricanes playing from in front and carrying the action in a much cleaner performance than their mistake-filled showings in Boston.

With the Game 5 win, the Hurricanes have two chances to close out the Bruins. Game 6 is Thursday in Boston, and Game 7, if needed, on home ice Saturday.

St. Louis 5, (At) Minnesota 2: Vladimir Tarasenko had three goals in the third period to break open a tied game and series, and St. Louis pushed Minnesota to the edge of elimination.

Ryan O’Reilly scored for the fourth time in the series and Brandon Saad got the tying goal late in the second period. Jordan Binnington made 30 saves for his second straight win.

Wild star Kirill Kaprizov scored twice on Minnesota’s previously sluggish power play in the first period. Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 shots.

The series returns to St. Louis for Game 6 on Thursday night. If the Blues win, Game 7 would be back in Minnesota on Saturday. The top-seeded Colorado Avalanche, fresh off a sweep of the Nashville Predators, are waiting in the second round.

Los Angeles 5, (at) Edmonton 4 (OT): Adrian Kempe scored 1:12 into overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night for a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Kempe muscled his way past his defender and wrapped a shot around Edmonton goalie Mike Smith to secure the victory.

The result means the Oilers need a win in Game 6 in Los Angeles on Thursday to stave off elimination.

Kempe also scored and had an assist for the Kings in regulation. Former Red Wings Troy Stecher and Andreas Anthansiou also scored, as did Phillip Danault.

Leon Draisaitl scored twice for Edmonton. Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists and Zack Kassian added a goal for the Oilers, who were coming off a 4-0 loss in Game 4 on Sunday.