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Frederik Andersen, Maple Leafs shut out Lightning

Goalie makes 33 saves to move Toronto past Tampa Bay for second wild card

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Frederik Andersen made 33 saves for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 5-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Martin, Connor Brown and James van Riemsdyk scored for the Maple Leafs (32-23-14), who are one point ahead of the Lightning and New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Tampa Bay (34-27-9) lost for the first time in five games. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed four goals on 15 shots before he was pulled for Peter Budaj at 6:14 of the second period. Budaj made five saves on six shots.

Andersen got his fourth shutout of the season. The Maple Leafs shut out the Lightning for the first time in Tampa since Feb. 2, 1999.

 

WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Lightning highlights

 

"We skated real good early and we had good energy," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "That's really important for us. All four lines were good, and we didn't need to worry about matchups. So, good win for our team and good things happened in the League for us tonight."

Polak gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead at 9:19 of the first period. Rielly made it 2-0 at 2:24 of the second period on a shot from center point that hit Vasilevskiy's pad and went under him and into the net. Martin gave the Maple Leafs a 3-0 lead at 2:39 when he put in a rebound of a shot off the post.

Video: Andersen earns Thursday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

"It was a big win for us," Martin said. "We had a good response [Thursday], played a good first period and obviously had a big second period offensively. Luckily we were able to shut the door in the third. [Andersen] made a lot of big saves in the third as well."

Brown's power-play goal at 6:14 made it 4-0. Van Riemsdyk scored his 22nd goal at 15:41 to make it 5-0.

"I think pretty much all of their goals are off point shots," Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman said. "So it obviously starts there with blocking shots, our forwards need to a better job of blocking them, and the rest of the guys need to do a better job of clearing out the front of the net, clearing out bodies and tying up sticks."

Video: TOR@TBL: van Riemsdyk hammers home a rebound

 

Goal of the game

Polak's goal came off of a faceoff win by Tyler Bozak in the offensive zone. Polak took a slap shot from outside of the circle that hit Vasilevskiy in the shoulder and trickled into the net.

Video: TOR@TBL: Polak beats Vasilevskiy from the blue line

 

Save of the game

Andersen stopped Brayden Point at 9:06 of the second period on a partial breakaway after Point skated around Toronto's defense.

Video: TOR@TBL: Andersen denies Point with his right pad

 

Unsung performance of the game

Maple Leafs defenseman Matt Hunwick had an assist and was plus-1 with four blocked shots in 21:32 of ice time.

Video: TOR@TBL: Martin bangs a loose puck past Vasilevskiy

 

Highlight of the game

Leo Komarov controlled the puck off a slap shot from William Nylander and slipped a backhand pass to Brown who poked in the puck.

Video: TOR@TBL: Brown slams Komarov's feed into the cage

 

They said it

"I thought we had a ton of energy. I thought we played really well. Obviously, they had a ton of power plays at the end there, so our penalty kill did well and I thought Freddy played great." -- Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak

 

"We didn't give them a ton of scoring chances, just every one they had went in the net. It was a product of us just not defending. We were just too far away from our net. We weren't men down low. It cost us, so just learn from it and move on. That's it." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

 

Need to know

Forward Brian Boyle played against the Lightning for the first time since they traded him to the Maple Leafs on Feb. 27. He was given a video tribute in the first period. "It was really nice of them to do that," Boyle said. "The whole organization here is classy, as classy as it gets. I can't thank them enough for that." … The Maple Leafs are the first NHL team since the 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets to have three rookies score 50 points in a season; Auston Matthews and Mitchel Marner each has 55 points, and Nylander got an assist to reach 50. ... Bozak played his 500th NHL regular-season game.

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CITY, CSN-CH, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Host the Washington Capitals on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Andersen, Rielly lead Maple Leafs to shutout victory

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