TAMPA, Fla. — Alexander Kerfoot scored on the power play at 4:14 of overtime after Toronto wiped out a three-goal deficit in the third period, and the Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 Monday night to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in their first-round playoff matchup.
Alex Killorn scored twice in helping the Lightning build a 4-1 lead that the Maple Leafs erased with three goals — two by Auston Matthews — in a span of 6 minutes, 20 seconds. Morgan Rielly‘s second goal of the series tied it 4-all at 16:04 of the third period.
It was the fourth time in Maple Leafs postseason history they’ve posted a three-goal comeback win, and the third time they’ve done so in the third period.
It was also the second time in three nights Toronto rallied late to force overtime. Ryan O’Reilly‘s goal with 60 seconds left in regulation kept the Maple Leafs alive in Game 3, and O’Reilly won it at 19:45 of OT for a 2-1 series lead.
Mikhail Sergachev and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 shots and had a couple of big saves in the overtime period before Kerfoot redirected Mark Giordano past the goaltender for the win.
Noel Acciari scored for the second-straight game for Toronto, deflecting Juston Holl’s shot past Vasilevskiy early in the second period to briefly get the Maple Leafs within one goal before Tampa Bay pulled away with goals by Stamkos and Killorn that made it 4-1.
It was 2-0 after one period, and Toronto was fortunate the deficit wasn’t bigger.
Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov stopped Brandon Hagel‘s penalty shot a little less than eight minutes into the game, but the Lightning’s persistence paid off when Killorn — and then, Sergachev — scored their first goals of the series off perfect feeds from Nikita Kucherov.
In both cases, Samsonov was positioned to defend a possible shot from Kucherov when the Lightning star instead delivered the puck to Killorn and Sergachev from the right circle.
Killorn scored his first goal on a power play. His second came from on a shot from the left circle that beat Samsonov to the far post for a three-goal lead.
Samsonov stopped 27 shots.
Since winning Game 7 of the 2004 conference quarterfinals against the Senators, the Maple Leafs have lost 10 straight playoff games with a chance to clinch a series.
ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Leafs erase 3-goal deficit in 3rd period, top Lightning in OT