The Toronto Maple Leafs improbably won Game 4 on Monday night after trailing 4-1 in the third period. Forward Alexander Kerfoot scored the game-winner, giving the Maple Leafs a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Kerfoot is one of the last Maple Leafs you’d expect to come up with a big goal like that. In fact, it was his first goal of the series. While a valuable player on the ice, he is not in the tier of Auston Matthews or Mitch Marner.
Nonetheless, his teammates were ecstatic to see him contribute such a monumental goal. Defenseman Morgan Rielly shared this sentiment with the media after the game. “You just want to grab him like you’re just so happy and for him to, you know, contribute in that way is crazy,” he said.”
Kerfoot’s goal was the culmination of an emotional and hard-fought comeback for the Maple Leafs. Toronto entered the third period trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 but received two goals from Matthews to make it 4-3.
With a little under four minutes left in the game, Rielly fired a shot past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. That goal tied the game at 4 and eventually forced the game into overtime.
In overtime, Tampa Bay went on the penalty kill after Mikhail Sergachev was called for tripping. On the ensuing power play, Kerfoot scored by deflecting a shot from Toronto defenseman Mark Giordano.
The Maple Leafs now lead this series 3-1 and can take the series by winning Thursday’s Game 5. Doing so would put an end to nearly 20 years of playoff misery, as Toronto’s last playoff series win came in 2004.
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