Maple Leafs and Lightning: Expect a Fierce Battle in Game 6

Tampa Bay Lightning, Brandon Hagel #38, Toronto Maple Leafs, Morgan Rielly #44.(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Lightning, Brandon Hagel #38, Toronto Maple Leafs, Morgan Rielly #44.(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs came up short against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 and failed to close out the series at home, losing by the score of 4-2. Both teams are still contenders as they try to punch their ticket to a second-round playoff series.

The Tampa Bay Lightning came out strong as usual and continued their onslaught in response to a defensive game by the Leafs. This Lightning team seems to have somewhat figured out Toronto’s game, as they have been keeping up the pressure.

In another crucial game, however, these two teams will face their biggest test. In this upcoming Game 6, will it be Toronto’s game to win and advance to the second round of the playoffs, or will Tampa stay alive?

The Leafs from the get-go in the upcoming Game 6 will look to score early and set the tone, as opposed to Tampa at home who will look to continue with their offensive efforts and keep the series alive.

Both the Lightning and Maple Leafs will look to set the tone early.

Setting the tone in this game is very important as it will determine which team is made for this year’s playoffs and set the tone for the second-round matchups.

With the Lightning on the brink, it seems that the three-time finalists are in a battle that will either make the team or send them golfing during this spring season.

To get a win in this game, both teams will have to be sharp, not take careless penalties, and keep consistent with the excellent gameplay that has defined both teams thus far.

For the Toronto Maple Leafs, they should not put pressure on themselves as it has cost them important games.

For the Tampa Bay Lightning, this is the time to utilize their playoff experience toward an inexperienced playoff team such as the Leafs, even though they added the additions to help combat that scenario.

This is a battle that both teams are obliged to finish. The question is will the Leafs close out the series in style or will there be a Game 7, where the Toronto Maple Leafs will be heavily scrutinized?

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What matters most is that the Leafs are still an excellent team that can contend, but getting the series-clinching win over the Tampa Bay Lightning will be difficult as the Lightning have made it. One thing is for sure, this is the best series of the first round.