Well, that’s one way to silence the critics.
In Game 1, it was Tampa who administered the ass-whooping. Suffice it is to say, Toronto returned the favour in a big way in Game 2 on Thursday night at Scotiabank Arena.
John Tavares notched his first career Stanley Cup Playoff hat trick as the Leafs hammered the Bolts 7-2 to even up their best-of-7 series at one game apiece.
Weirdly, this one took on many of the same characteristics as the opener, except the roles were reversed. Mitch Marner’s first of two on the night kicked off the scoring just 47 seconds in. After that, Toronto would add two more to lead 3-0 after one.
Meantime, it was a monster night for the Core Four. John Tavares (three goals), Mitch Marner (two goals, one assist), William Nylander (one goal, one assist) and Auston Matthews (two assists) combined for 10 points. Not to be outdone, Morgan Rielly tied the Leafs franchise record among defenders with four points – all assists – in a playoff game.
Furthermore, Toronto went 2-for-7 on the power play, Tampa went 0-for-2. In total, the two teams combined for 74 penalty minutes on the night, many of which came with the game well out of hand.
Ilya Samsonov made 19 stops fo …
Author: Nick Alberga / The Leafs Nation