Auston MatthewsKnows when to seize the moment
The Maple Leafs' star forward and NHL's top goal scorer in regular season had not scored since Game 1 against Tampa Bay in Toronto's Stanley Cup playoff series. Matthews was back to light the lamp once more, this time to score the game-winner in Tuesday’s Game 5, capitulating a wild comeback that gave Maple Leafs a 3-2 series win over the Stanley Cup champions.
Matthews stated that the goal was “pretty extraordinary”. Matthews said that it was a big accomplishment to overcome two defeats and continue competing and winning.
The play was a two-on-1 opportunity with a linemate. Mitchell MarnerMatthews was buried by, who received a puck from Andrei Vailevskiy.
Matthews said about Marner that Marner “is such a special hockey player.” Matthews said, “I just try and get open to the puck or anticipate it coming to me.” It was an incredible play and I knew I had to make my move on the ice.
Matthews and the Maple Leafs had a fairytale ending, which was stark contrast to their woeful start.
Tampa Bay took the lead early in the game, scoring goals 52 second apart in the first period. The Lightning led 2-0 after 20 minutes and outshot Toronto 14-4.
The winning team in each of the four series' opening games was the one that had won. Game 5 seemed headed for a similar conclusion.
In Toronto's dressing area during the first intermission, however, a veteran forward was present Jason SpezzaHe delivered a speech to get the Leafs back on track.
Matthews stated, “Spezz got everybody in the room. He said some stuff.” “And I thought we came out the second with an excellent purpose after that. We had to go out and do it and then get back to the game.
And how. Returned to the ice John TavaresToronto quickly regained the lead on the power play. William Nylander past Vasilevskiy. This ignited the home crowd and the Leafs took over with great offensive zone pressure. Vasilevskiy was ready for the onslaught. Jack CampbellAt the other end, Nick Paul made two key stops (one against the Lightning while they were shorthanded), to keep the Leafs' lead at 2-1.
Matthews' bone-rattling hit was another highlight of the game's physicality. Mikhail SergachevThis sent Tampa's young Blueliner to the Ice in pain.
Matthews was credited for one of seven hits, leading all skaters. Matthews is often praised for his goal scoring, but there is a multifaceted side to him that isn’t as well known.
Matthews' whole game is just great, Tavares stated. Matthews is an all-round player who can score as many as 60 goals in a regular season. It's no surprise that he has been (hitting guys).
“He's going be hard at work and competitive because they make it difficult for him earn his ice.
Tampa was ahead with a power play attempt less than three minutes into the third period. The Leafs were still down by 2-1. High-sticking call against Steven StamkosAfter 10 seconds, power play was negated. Morgan RiellyIn less than a minute, the equalizing goal was scored.
The Leafs were up 3-2 by Nylander, which was the first lead change in the series.
Ryan McDonaghTampa got a slapshot back from'slapshot', and then Matthews took it away. Toronto was one win away of its first playoff series victory since 2004.
Matthews, who is often reserved, didn't hesitate to celebrate the goal. His teammates loved it.
“That's an enormous goal. Nylander said that the goal deserves a lot more attention. It would be nice to see that one get in.”
Matthews said that Toronto was successful because of a team effort.
He said that he felt they needed to have more control over the puck and that they should be forechecking their play and not giving them too much space and time. We were on top and ready to make plays.