NHL PLAYOFFS – Toronto finally makes it through the playoffs


Playoffs – 1st round
Tampa Bay Lightning–Toronto Maple Leafs: 1-2 OT

TBL: Stamkos
TOR: Matthews, Tavares

John Tavares scored the game-clinching goal 4:36 into overtime to give Toronto its first series win in over 19 years and send fans to Maple Leaf Square – some of whom were born after the franchise eliminated Ottawa in the quarter-finals of the Conference in 2004 – in joyous celebration outside the Scotiabank Arena.

  • The Maple Leafs’ second-round opponent will be either the Bruins or the Panthers, who will play their series finale at TD Garden Sunday. Toronto has met Boston in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff series, including three in the past 10 years (2019 R1, 2018 R1 and 2013 CQF) and has never faced Florida in a postseason series.
  • The Maple Leafs became the first team in Stanley Cup Playoff history to achieve three road overtime wins in a single series. Toronto won its first three away games in the playoffs for the fifth time in franchise history, following 1951 (5-0), 1949 (5-0), 1977 (4-0) and 2001 ( 3-0).
  • Tavares, who signed with the club on July 1, 2018 – a moment that went viral after he shared a photo of himself as a child in Maple Leafs bed sheets – and was officially named team captain ahead of the season 2019/20, ended Toronto’s 0-8 series win drought, which was tied for the fifth-longest such slip in NHL history. Tavares also ended another franchise’s 0-8 stretch with an overtime goal – he scored the game-clinching goal in Game 6 of the 2016 first round to give the Islanders their first series win since the 1993 Divisional Finals.

Source: NHL/YouTube


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