by : Jay Recher
Well, that was ugly.
In a game that was crucial for them to win to keep marching towards the playoffs, the Lightning were blanked by the visiting Maple Leafs 5-0 on Thursday night at Amalie Arena.
Toronto took advantage of a fortunate bounce to get on the board first.
Tyler Bozak won a draw in the offensive zone back to defenseman Roman Polak and the Toronto defender wristed one on net that bounced off the shoulder of Vasilevskiy and then it trickled into the net to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead.
That remained the score heading into the second period, but Toronto didn't wait long to expand their lead.
Less than three minutes into the middle stanza, Morgan Rielly and Matt Martin scored to push the Leafs advantage to 3-0. When Connor Brown scored a power play goal at 6:15 to make it 4-0, Andrei Vasilevskiy's night was over, and Peter Budaj came on to replace him. James Van Riemsdyk scored later in the period to make it a four-goal period for the Leafs.
Vasilevskiy stopped only 11 of 15 shots while Budaj stopped 5 of 6.
Toronto's Frederik Andersen was rock solid in net and turned away all 33 shots he faced.
WELCOME BACK BOYLER : The Lightning put together a really cool video package (SEE BELOW) celebrating the time Brian Boyle spent here in Tampa Bay. The entire Amalie Arena crowd stood up and cheered the guy who played in the Bay Area for the last 2+ seasons.
What's Next for the Bolts : The Lightning are back in action Saturday night as they welcome the Washington Capitals to Amalie Arena. Game time is slated for 7:00pm with the pregame show kicking things off at 6:30pm on NewsRadio 970WFLA.
1. Toronto - Polak - (Bozak) - 9:19
1. Toronto - Rielly - (Kadri, Marchenko) - 2:24
2. Toronto - Martin - (Hunwick, Soshnikov) - 2:39
3. Toronto - PPG - Brown - (Komarov, Nylander) - 6:15
4. Toronto - Van Riemsdyk - (Rielly, Marner) - 15:41
1. Tampa Bay - Palat - (Tripping) - 6:09
1. Tampa Bay - Witkowski - (Elbowing) - 5:02
2. Toronto - Boyle - (Tripping) - 7:41
3. Toronto - Zaitsev - (Interference) - 17:47
4. Toronto - Hunwick - (High Sticking) - 18:37
1. Toronto - Komarov - (Goalie Interference) - 3:00
2. Toronto - Kadri - (Roughing) - 5:49
3. Toronto - Kadri - (Cross Checking) - 5:49
4. Tampa Bay - Gourde - (Roughing) - 5:49
5. Toronto - Van Riemsdyk - (Cross Checking) - 18:39
6. Tampa Bay - Witkowski - (Roughing) - 18:39
7. Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Holding) - 19:13
SHOTS ON GOAL
Toronto - 21
Tampa Bay - 33