R2 G2: Leafs 2 Panthers 3
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Thursday, May 4, 2023
19 seconds into the second period was all the Florida Panthers needed to turn this game in their favour. They win game two by a score of 3-2 and grab a 2-0 series lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The first period was all Maple Leafs jumping out to an early 2-0 lead with goals by Alex Kerfoot two and a half minutes into the game and a powerplay marker by Ryan O’Reilly.
Anton Lundell scored just over halfway into the first period and the Panthers used that momentum to sway the game.
19 seconds into the second Alex Barkov scored. William Nylander turned the puck over in the neutral zone and Anthony Duclair stripped him, finding Barkov and beating Ilya Samsonov with a knuckle puck low glove.
Less than a minute later Gustav Forsling scored off another Leaf turnover. Auston Matthews tried flipping the puck out of the zone, it got intercepted and Matthew Tkachuk continues his tear, finding Forsling for the wide-open goal.
The third period felt like things would go in the Maple Leafs favour but posts and great stops by Sergei Bobrovsky helped the Panthers hold on and bring a commanding series lead back to Florida. Bobrovsky stopped 30 or more for the fourth time since he took over the net for Alex Lyon.
It was nobody’s fault other than their own. Sloppy turnovers and the inability to convert on great opportunities. 1-3 on the powerplay when Florida only gets one for the second game in a row is not good enough.
Some positives, Matthews extends his point streak to eight games with an assist on O’Reilly’s goal in the first.
Matthew Knies left the game after the first intermission with what appears to be a head injury after Sam Bennett put him in a headlock and slammed his head against the glass. It is unclear whether the rookie will play in game three.
The Maple Leafs head to Florida after dropping both games at home, only scoring two goals in each. Game three is scheduled for Sunday at 6:30pm.
TOR Scoring: Kerfoot (2), O’Reilly PP (3)
FLA Scoring: Lundell (1), Barkov (2), Forsling (2)