APTPOPIX Lightning Maple Leafs Hockey

Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with forward William Nylander (88) during the second period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Thursday, April 20, 2023, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — John Tavares had his first playoff hat trick and the Toronto Maple Leafs rebounded from a poor playoff start with a lopsided 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night to even the teams' first-round playoff series at a game apiece.

Mitch Marner had two goals and an assist, William Nylander added a goal and an assist, and Zach Aston-Reese also scored for Toronto.

Morgan Rielly tied a franchise record with four assists. Auston Matthews also had two assists for the Maple Leafs, whose stars stepped up. Ilya Samsonov made 20 saves for Toronto after being pulled in Tuesday's 7-3 loss.

Ian Cole and Corey Perry scored for the Lightning, who were without injured defensemen Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak. Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has played every minute of Lightning postseason action since 2020, allowed seven goals on 37 shots.

The series shifts to Florida, where Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven set are scheduled for Saturday and Monday.


DENVER (AP) — Devon Toews scored with 7:01 remaining to complete Colorado's rally from two goals down as the Avalanche beat Seattle to even the first-round series at a game apiece.

Trailing 2-0 in the second period, Artturi Lehkonen and Valeri Nichushkin scored 48 seconds apart to tie the game. It set the stage for Toews, who knocked in a rebound for the defending Stanley Cup champions. Alexandar Georgiev finished with 27 saves.

Justin Schultz and Brandon Tanev scored for the Kraken, who won 3-1 in Game 1. Philipp Grubauer stopped 38 shots against his former team. He spent three seasons in Colorado before signing with Seattle prior to the 2021-22 season.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Seattle.


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Chris Kreider scored two power-play goals in a three-goal second period and New York stunned New Jersey to a take a 2-0 lead on the road in their first-round playoff series.

Patrick Kane added a goal and two assists and fellow trade deadline acquisition Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the second straight game as the Rangers again had their way with the young Devils.

Kaapo Kakko also scored and Adam Fox added two more assists to give him six in two games. Igor Shesterkin had a relatively easy night, making 21 saves.

Erik Haula scored for New Jersey. Vitek Vanecek finished with 26 saves in a game that got one-sided and chippy late.

The best-of-seven series shifts across the Hudson River to Madison Square Garden for Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Monday, respectively.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mark Stone scored two third-period goals and assisted on another in just his second game since returning from back surgery to give the Golden Knights a victory over the Jets in Game 2 to even the first-round series.

Chandler Stephenson and William Karlsson each had a goal and an assist, Jack Eichel scored his first career playoff goal and Phil Kessel and Alex Pietrangelo each had two assists. Laurent Brossoit made 31 saves.

Stone's goals were his first since January. He underwent back surgery Jan. 31 and returned in time for this game.

Adam Lowry and Kevin Stenlund each scored for the Jets, and Connor Hellebuyck made 34 stops.

Game 3 is Saturday afternoon at Winnipeg.

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