The Tampa Bay Lightning’s bid for a third consecutive Stanley Cup is in trouble.

Or is it?

The Lightning blew a third-period lead as the Toronto Maple Leafs won 4-3 and took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series.

But the Lightning have recent history on their side. They are heading home for Game 6 and they are 16-0 following a loss since the start of the 2020 postseason. Toronto, meanwhile, hasn’t won a first-round series since 2004. In 2019 and 2021, the Leafs got three wins but failed to get a fourth.

Tampa Bay will need more to keep the run alive. The Lightning appeared to be headed for another blowout win with two quick goals in the first period, but they couldn’t get another puck past Jack Campbell until the third period.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews celebrates scoring the winning goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

By that time, the Leafs had rallied to take a 3-2 lead on a second-period goal by John Tavares and third-period goals by Morgan Rielly and William Nylander 73 seconds apart. It was the first lead change in the series.

Tampa Bay’s Ryan McDonagh tied up the game, but he was later caught up ice, leading to a 2-on-1 break for Toronto. Auston Matthews scored on a so-called pass-off-pads from Mitch Marner.

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