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Maple Leafs with a big finish, take Tampa Bay 2-1 in OT

If you missed all but the last 5 minutes of gameplay, you made a good decision.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images

Big Willy Styles.

That’s the recap. Or maybe this is:

In truth the game was a tight contest where the Leafs and the Lightning were as even as their points totals for the first two periods, and the only goal was this one:

No one looked good on that. But then Jack Campbell held the door until the very last minute of play:

And that was beautiful. Up to then were the Leafs good? Other than Jack Campbell, that is. Yes and no. They can’t keep pace with Brayden Point, but they try. They can’t really put out two lines in a game that compete with a top team, but they try. They are very good most of the time, but it’s fair to ask if that’s enough of the time.

But skill will out, just like in that tying goal.

In a miracle that’s being investigated by the Vatican, there was a penalty call in OT. So the Leafs put out four forwards on the PP. William Nylander, John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. This is a good idea. It’s the regular season, you have a point, this is smart gambling:

And that’s two points.

Now, about that investigation. The hit on Marner earlier in the game was nasty in form, but as your friend Darren Dreger points out, the force of the hit might make it something the NHL ignores.

The hit:

And I’ll end this not really a recap on this note:

Whoever told Nylander he could be himself more deserves a raise.

For the view from the other side, try this:

Next game is Saturday vs the Bruins.