TORONTO - The Bolts will return to the ice in Toronto in a situation they have been in before – down in a playoff series. In the past, they have shown the ability to bounce back.
In fact, the Tampa Bay Lightning owns the NHL's longest-winning streak following a loss in the playoffs with a record 15 straight wins.
Reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy posted ugly numbers Monday night — allowing five goals on 33 shots to Toronto — after going 16-7 with a 1.90 goals against average and .937 save percentage in helping Tampa Bay win the second of back-to-back Stanley Cup titles a year ago.
Toronto handed the Lightning their worst playoff loss under coach Jon Cooper in a 5-0 road loss.
"It’s the classic, you’ve got to turn the page," Cooper said, adding he’s confident Vasilevskiy and the two-time defending champions will rebound with a strong performance in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
The Lightning, shut out in the postseason for the first time a Game 7 loss to Washington in the 2018 Eastern Conference Final, hasn’t lost consecutive playoff games since the first round of 2019.
"This isn’t the first time we’ve lost a Game 1 and won the series," Cooper said after practice Tuesday. "It’s not ideal, but it’s not like it’s uncharted water, either."
The Maple Leafs will be without forward Kyle Clifford for Game 2 after the NHL suspended him one game for boarding Tampa Bay’s Ross Colton during the first period of Game 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report