(Toronto) Michael Eyssimont had a goal and an assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Thursday to force Game 6 of their first-round series.
Anthony Cirelli, Nick Paul and Alex Killorn, in an empty net, also scored for the Lightning, while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots.
Morgan Rielly and Auston Matthews replied for the Maple Leafs. John Tavares had two assists and Ilya Samsonov made 34 saves.
The Maple Leafs lead the series 3-2.
Game 6 is Saturday in Tampa. A final game will take place on Monday in Toronto, if necessary.
The Maple Leafs squandered an opportunity to win their first series since 2004. They were eliminated in seven games by the Lightning last spring and are now 0-10 since 2018 when they had the opportunity to eliminate their opponent.
The score was 1-1 after the first period, then the Lightning took the lead 4:23 into the second period. Eyssimont caught Samsonov between the pads on a seemingly harmless shot.
The second period ended in controversy. Pat Maroon tackled Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Giordano from behind against the ramp. No penalty was initially called on the play. Maroon eventually received a roughing penalty at the end of the scrum that followed his gesture.
Giordano joined his teammates on the bench shortly after the start of the third period.
The Maple Leafs got a few power-play chances, but Vasilevskiy closed the door. He then frustrated Mitch Marner on a breakaway.
Paul dealt a blow to the hopes of Maple Leafs fans by widening the gap to 3-1 at 11:53 of the final period. He hit the mark when Samsonov was the victim of a contact with his teammate David Kampf.
The Maple Leafs replaced Samsonov with an extra forward with 3:34 left in regulation, then Matthews took advantage of a loose puck to close the gap to one goal.
They continued to attack the Lightning net, but Killorn delivered the knockout blow with five seconds left.