One of the best regular seasons in Toronto Maple Leafs history ended in disappointment.
The Maple Leafs lost 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 on Saturday, extending a sad losing streak and sending Toronto into an offseason full of questions.
Nick Paul, a longtime Ottawa senator, was the hero for the Lightning – scoring his first two playoff goals in the contest. Morgan Rielly was the Maple Leafs’ lone scorer.
The loss marks the sixth straight season the Maple Leafs have failed to win an innings of the playoffs with their current core of stars, with the last five losses having come in winner-takes-all final games. But this one will hurt a little more after Auston Matthews scored 60 goals and the team set a franchise record with 54 regular-season wins.
With the win, the Lightning will now continue their title defense against state rival Florida Panthers, who eliminated the Washington Capitals in six games in the first round.