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Florida Panthers beat Toronto Maple Leafs in OT, take 3-0 series lead



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Sam Reinhart scored at 3:02 of additional time because the Florida Panthers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Sunday to take a commanding 3-0 lead of their second-round playoff sequence.

The centre grabbed the puck behind the web and wrapped it round on a stunned Joseph Woll earlier than the Panthers spilled off the bench. It was Reinhart’s fifth purpose of the playoffs.

Anthony Duclair and Carter Verhaeghe had the opposite targets for Florida, which received the primary two video games on the highway and might shut the best-of-seven matchup with a sweep Wednesday again at FLA Reside Enviornment.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves for the Panthers, who’re up 3-0 in a sequence for the primary time since 1996.

Erik Gustafsson and Sam Lafferty replied for Toronto. Woll stopped 18 photographs after changing Ilya Samsonov, who was injured in a collision with Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn in a case of pleasant fireplace early within the second interval. Samsonov made eight saves.

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The Leafs fell to 3-1 on the highway within the playoffs — all in OT — and have misplaced three in a row for the primary time since late October following a tricky night time for star forwards Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and John Tavares.

Solely 4 groups have come again from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game sequence in NHL historical past — Toronto (1942), New York Islanders (1975), Philadelphia Flyers (2010) and the Los Angeles Kings (2014).

Toronto defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning within the first spherical for the Authentic Six franchise’s first sequence victory in almost 20 years. Florida, in the meantime, upset the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins with three straight victories — together with two in OT — after trailing that sequence 3-1.

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Up 1-0 after Sunday’s first interval, Samsonov was damage 37 seconds into the second when Schenn bowled into his netminder making an attempt to thwart a Florida scoring probability. The Russian stayed down and was checked out by Toronto’s coach earlier than exiting.

Woll, who performed the third interval of Sport 1 in opposition to Tampa within the Leafs’ 7-3 loss final spherical, got here off the bench in aid with Schenn within the penalty field for tripping.

Toronto almost killed off the Florida energy play, however Duclair scored his second of the post-season on a pleasant deke to tie issues at 2:36.

The Leafs went again in entrance at 7:32 when Gustafsson, who entered the lineup with Toronto electing to decorate 11 forwards and 7 defencemen with winger Matthew Knies (concussion) out, noticed his cross in entrance bounce into Florida’s purpose for his first off the stick of blue liner Marc Staal after some good work from William Nylander.

However the Panthers, who picked up two victories in Toronto thanks largely to Bobrovsky’s stellar play, and entered on a five-game playoff profitable streak that set a franchise document, knotted the rating once more at 12:28 when Verhaeghe tipped in his fourth.

Woll made an enormous cease on Anton Lundell with beneath seven minutes left in regulation to maintain the Leafs’ hopes alive earlier than an enormous save on Sam Bennett off a pair of egregious turnovers to drive the additional interval.

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Toronto opened the scoring on a 2-on-1 at 2:26 of the primary when Lafferty one-timed a David Kampf cross after Auston Matthews hit the submit lower than 20 seconds into the sport.

The Panthers did their finest to restrict Toronto assist inside FLA Reside Enviornment with a ticketing coverage that required a U.S. tackle for the primary 24 hours of seat gross sales, however that didn’t cease hundreds of followers sporting blue and white from getting within the constructing.

Toronto has received only one sequence in its historical past after dropping the primary two video games at residence. The primary time got here in 1942 when the Leafs fell behind the Detroit Purple Wings 3-0 earlier than coming again to win it in seven — a primary within the NHL — within the Stanley Cup remaining.

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