NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Tampa Bay 4 1 2 7
Toronto 3 0 0 3
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, October 10, 2019
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario  Attendance: 19,387

Lightning could get Point back vs. Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs

  1. The Lightning fell to the Hurricanes, 4-3, in overtime on Sunday in Carolina. The last time Tampa Bay failed to win at least two of its first three games was the 2011-12 season (also started 1-1-1).
  2. Kevin Shattenkirk has recorded a point in each of his first three games with the Lightning (2G, 1A). He's just the fourth defenseman in franchise history to do so, joining Brett Clark (2010-11), Cory Murphy (2008-09), and Doug Crossman (1992-93), who all had three-game streaks.
  3. The Lightning have won five of their last six games against the Maple Leafs and are 12-4-1 in the series since the start of the 2015-16 season. Tampa Bay is 7-2-0 in Toronto during that span while allowing only 20 goals and killing off 20-of-22 shorthanded situations.
  4. The Maple Leafs suffered their first regulation loss of the season against St. Louis on Monday, 3-2. They had five power-play opportunities in each of their first three games, scoring four times total. They were 0-for-2 on the power play against St. Louis.
  5. Frederik Gauthier and William Nylander each scored their second goal of the season in the loss to the Blues, giving Toronto five skaters with 2+ goals this year. Only the Sabres (6) have more.
  6. Since the start of last season, the Maple Leafs lead the league with a .975 points percentage (38-0-2) when leading after two periods. They are one of three teams (Pittsburgh and Vegas) without a regulation loss in those games.

The Tampa Bay Lightning could have Brayden Point back in the lineup Thursday night when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 23-year-old was not expected to return until late October after having offseason hip surgery, but he skated on the top line during practice Tuesday with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.

"Just to be part of the practice is exciting," Point said. "It's another step, and I'm excited. I thought I felt pretty good (Tuesday)."

Point had 41 goals and 51 assists last season.

The Lightning and the Maple Leafs are both highly skilled teams that were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season.

The Lightning, who had the best record in the NHL last season with a league-record-tying 62 regular-season wins, were swept in four games by the Columbus Blue Jackets, while the Maple Leafs lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

The Maple Leafs won their first two games this season, but blew a 4-1 lead in a shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday and lost 3-2 to the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues Monday night. Both games were at home.

The Lightning have one win in three games and are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday that concerned Stamkos.

"We just continue to be the freewheeling team that thinks we can just come into games and win because we're skilled," Stamkos said after the game. "We keep falling back into the same old bad habits that we've been doing, that cost us the season we had last year. Unless we change things, it's going to be a really, really, really long year."

Lightning center Tyler Johnson echoed Stamkos' concern.

"We have skill, but you don't always need to use that skill," Johnson said. "We try to make those cute plays. We try to make almost Globetrotter plays. In reality, that doesn't win games."

Jason Spezza, an NHL veteran playing in his first season with the Maple Leafs, feels that the team needs stronger work away from the puck to add to its offensive strengths.

"When (the game Monday) got away from us, maybe we didn't get pucks deep enough as we needed to," he said. "But for the most part, we hung with them all night. There were times when we really controlled play out there and if we can bottle that, we'll become a better team. They're the champs, they play a very disciplined game. I thought we did, too, for the most part."

The game Monday was the fourth in six nights to open the season for the Leafs.

"I liked us every night except the (Saturday) night on the back-to-back there -- the three-in- four," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said after the game Monday. " I didn't think we were very good. We have a chance to get a lot better, obviously."

--Field Level Media

Updated October 9, 2019

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