Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 3 Preview

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 3 Preview

The Lightning strike back to tie their first-round series with the Maple Leafs at 1-1. Game 3 is on Friday in Tampa.

Victor Hedman’s first-period goal shifted the momentum of Game 2 in favor of the two-time defending champion Lightning, after an embarrassing performance in Game 1 against the Maple Leafs. The Lightning look to maintain that momentum at home for Game 3 on Friday.

Lightning Look to Build Off Game 2 Victory

Victor Hedman’s goal in the dying seconds of the first period of game 2 struck for the Lightning at the right time. After an embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions needed a spark to ignite their run toward a third consecutive Stanley Cup championship.

Hedman, the 2020 Conn Smythe Award winner and the cornerstone of the Lightning’s defensive core, swept the puck past Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell’s short side with 1.4 seconds left in the first period, providing the spark the Lightning needed to avoid going back to Tampa down 2-0 to the Maple Leafs.

Hedman led the Lightning to victory in Game 2 with a four-point night (one goal, three assists), evening the series with the Maple Leafs. Nikita Kucherov bounced back from a poor performance in game 1 with a three-point night (one goal, two assists), helping Tampa Bay move to 15-0 after a loss since the beginning of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Maple Leafs Hope to Get Back to Game 1 Form

Toronto’s superstar forwards continued to lead the way for the Maple Leafs. Mitch Marner continued his strong start to the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs, scoring his second goal in as many games. Marner added an assist to his points total, assisting on Michael Bunting’s goal in the second period, cutting the Lightning lead in half. For his part, Auston Matthews followed his strong 3-point performance in Game 1, finishing Game 2 with two assists.

With the momentum on their side, the Tampa Bay Lightning return home to Amalie Arena for Game 3 on Friday at 7:30 P.M. EDT. With the series tied at 1-1, Tampa Bay currently sits as the betting favorite (-119) for Game 3. Have the two-time defending champs taken ownership over the series momentum, or will Jack Campbell and the Toronto Maple Leafs (-102) bounce back from a poor showing in Game 2 and make their claim to the series momentum?

Lightning Bolts Past the Leafs in Game 3

If I had to make a pick, my money will ride (with) the Lightning. Rather than pick a winner, I think I’d play the over/under for Game 3. Game 3’s over/under is set at 6.5, and I’m going to take the over.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning can score in bunches – both scored five goals in their respective wins and averaged over three goals per game in the regular season. Unless you see foresee a low-scoring goaltending duel in Game 3, take the over.

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