That best-of-seven series starts Tuesday in Toronto. As I've said for the last couple weeks, Korpisalo is the worse goalie of the two, so that does bode better for us as well.
They have cycled through five general managers, six head coaches and 218 different players.
The Presidents' Trophy winners with 100 regular season points showed some life in their most recent game, coming back from down 2-0 before falling 3-2 to Tampa. "I have full confidence we respond the right way".
"I think there was a lot of ups and downs and obviously this is more of a frustrating way to end it obviously", Auston Matthews concluded of a Leafs season that finished with a thud in Game 5 against the Blue Jackets.
Werenski lit the lamp for the lone score of the first period Sunday when he beat Maple Leafs keeper Frederik Andersen 6:29 into the game. Tavares had his team's best chance of the opening 20 minutes, but his rushed shot at a wide-open net hit the post and stayed out.
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Toronto got the first good chance when Matthews, who recorded points on three of the Maple Leafs four goals on Friday, including scoring the overtime victor, was stopped by Korpisalo on a backhand on a rush to the net with 13:48 left in the first period.
This year, the Blue Jackets come in as the 7 seed (what would be the 1 wild-card team in a normal year) and the Lightning are the 2nd seed after a round-robin seeding tournament with the three other top teams in the conference.
The Toronto netminder had to be sharp early the second after Justin Holl turned the puck over. Tavares and Matthews then came close on Korpisalo, while Foligno forced a good pad stop out of Andersen. The Maple Leafs had a 2-1 series lead against the Washington Capitals in 2017.
The Leafs got their first power play when Werenski crosschecked Tavares, but both Toronto's captain and Matthews couldn't find a way through Korpisalo on good chances.
POINT SHOTS Andreas Johnsson played for the first time since February 13, when he suffered a knee injury against Dallas, and skated on a line with Kerfoot and Mikheyev.
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William Nylander forced a good save out of Korpisalo early in the third after the Leafs killed a Columbus power play.
"Amazing", said Foudy, a Toronto native. Now the question becomes whether to consider this latest setback an indictment of his work, a team that seemed ready to roll a couple of rounds the past few years, or look at other well-built teams that fell in short series in a one-off COVID-19 influenced play-in format.
In a surprise move, Toronto activated Andreas Johnsson from the injured reserve list shortly before the puck drop. The Blue Jackets held onto the narrow lead through the second frame before Foudy and Foligno netted some insurance down the stretch.
The end is more disappointing than the previous three years, even though Toronto had been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round in cruel fashion in each one of them. And it's obviously a tough pill to swallow.
A very key injury to keep an eye on is Werenski. The Oilers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in four games. The Leafs are among eight teams holding a 12.5% chance of winning Monday night's second phase of the National Hockey League draft lottery and projected No. 1 pick Alexis Lafreniere. Each club has a 12.5 per cent chance of securing the No. 1 pick. Johnsson took the place of rookie Nick Robertson. They haven't been doing too bad, as they've had 5v5 score adjusted xGA/60 of 1.99 and 1.9 in Games 3 and 4, but those have been their worst defensive games of the series as well.
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