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Maple Leafs Turn Away Lightning 4-2 Behind Marner Goal

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The Maple Leafs were aggressive against the NHL leaders in Tampa Bay's Lightning. Photo: Chris O'Meary/AP.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Toronto Maple Leafs center Mitchell Marner scored on a pass from Leafs leading point man John Tavares at 14:49 of the second period and then stopped the Tampa Bay Lightning with an aggressive third period forecheck in taking down the Lightning 4-2 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening.

Tavares’ pass caught Marner’s blade as he caught Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy leaning to his right to score the game winner.

Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen withstood a barrage of shots from Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman before Zach Hyman corralled the puck and scored on an empty-netter at 19:10.

“Frederick played great and they scored two more,” said Hedman, who came away with a goal and an assist. “We had a lot of good looks but it just wasn’t going for us.”

Tampa Bay seemed to gain momentum when Hedman tied the game at 2-2 as he wasted little time in picking up his sixth goal of the season at 13:46 when he fired the puck past Andersen on the subsequent shift after Patrick Marleau’s go-ahead goal.

Nikita Kucherov set up Hedman with a drop pass and he picked up his 54th assist of the season while Brayden Point collected his 33rd helper.

“We played well enough to win the game,” said Lightning coach John Cooper. “The third goal was tough just because we turned the puck over a couple of times and what was perceived to be a simple retrieval wound up in the back of our net. That was a structural miscue on our part but we had our chances.”

Tampa Bay took an early 1-0 lead on a power play goal when Point knocked in a rebound off the stick of Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev in front of the net.

Hedman fired a rocket at the net which Zaitsev was unable to collect as Point was in position to push the puck under Andersen’s right blocker.

Point scored the Lightning’s 46th power play goal of the season and the first in three games. It was Point’s 13th power play marker on the season as he has a total of 21 points on the extra man advantage as well.

With the goal, Point became the first player in the NHL to reach 30 goals and 30 assists this season.

The Maple Leafs bounced back two minutes later when Nazem Kadri picked up his 10th goal of the season at 11:48. Kadri picked up the puck off Vasilevskiy’s blocker after Kasperi Kapanen fired a laser in front of the Lightning goalie.

“We have to generate a little more 5-on-5 and that helps,” said Cooper. “We had some good looks. It was tough to come out of the second period down one. We had a good period and they came out with the lead and we pushed them for a bit and we started chasing it for a five-minute period and got a little life and we got back for the last five minutes and had our chances.

Despite the loss, the Lightning still have a commanding 14-point lead in the Eastern Conference with 74 points while the second place Leafs have 60.

“You want to win every night, I don’t care who we are playing,” commented Stamkos, who assisted Point’s goal. “You get teams’ best. You are gonna play some teams that are more talented than others. We want to win, that is the end goal. This isn’t playoff hockey yet it doesn’t have the same feel, so you can’t replicate a playoff game.”

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Lightning Sign D Mikhail Sergachev, F Anthony Cirelli and D Erik Cernak to Eight-Year Contract Extensions

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Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, forward Anthony Cirelli and defenseman Erik Cernak each to an eight-year contract extension, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Sergachev, 24, has skated in 362 career regular season games, 358 of them with the Lightning, notching 36 goals and 174 points. He ranks fifth all-time in Tampa Bay franchise history among defensemen for goals and scoring and fourth for assists (138). The former ninth overall pick (of Montreal) in the 2016 NHL Draft has also played in 92 postseason games and posted eight goals and 30 points. He ranks second in Lightning history among defensemen for playoff games, goals, assists (22) and scoring. Sergachev’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $8.5 million.

Cirelli, 24, has skated in 294 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, recording 66 goals and 159 points. During the 2021-22 season, Cirelli posted 17-26—43 points in 76 games played, one point shy of his career high 16-28—44 pts. from the 2019-20 season. He led Tampa Bay forwards for blocked shots (67), ranked sixth in the NHL for penalties drawn (42) and finished fifth in Selke Trophy voting in 2021-22. In postseason play, Cirelli has notched 14 goals and 34 points in 92 games, ranking 11th all-time in Lightning playoff history for scoring. Cirelli’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $6.25 million.

Cernak, 25, has skated in 226 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, posting 16 goals, 59 points and a plus-51 rating. During the 2021-22 regular season, the Kosice, Slovakia native notched a goal and 13 points and led the Lightning for hits (165) in 55 games. Cernak has played in 73 career postseason games, recording two goals and 19 points. He netted the Stanley Cup-opening goal in Game 1 of the 2021 Cup Final versus Montreal, becoming the first Tampa Bay player to net his first career playoff goal in a Stanley Cup Final. A second round selection of the Los Angeles Kings (43rd overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, Cernak was traded to the Lightning on February 26, 2017. Cernak’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $5.2 million.

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NHL: Lightning Re-Sign Forward Simon Ryfors to a One-Year, Two-Way Contract

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Simon Ryfors had two goals and an assist in the Lightning’s 5-2 win over Nashville in the opening game of the NHL Prospect Showcase Saturday afternoon at Amalie Arena. Photo: Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times.

TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Simon Ryfors to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced.

Ryfors, 24, played in 72 games during the regular season for the Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay’s American Hockey League affiliate, posting 11 goals and 35 points, ranking tied for seventh on the Crunch for scoring. He also skated in five Calder Cup Playoff games with the Crunch and notched a goal, assist and a plus-four rating.

The Stockholm, Sweden native originally signed with the Lightning organization on May 12, 2021. Prior to that, he skated seven seasons with Rogle BK of the SHL, tallying 41 goals and 93 points to go along with 165 penalty minutes in 250 games. He set career bests in the SHL in 2020-21 for goals (25), assists (20) and points (45).

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Lightning Acquire F Brandon Hagel, Two 4th Round Picks from Chicago

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Forward Brandon Hagel. Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Tampa Bay Lightning // The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Brandon Hagel, Chicago’s fourth-round selection in 2022 and fourth-round pick in 2024 from the Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, Tampa’s first-round selection in 2023 and first-round selection in 2024, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today. Both first-round picks the Lightning are sending to Chicago are top 10 protected.

Hagel, 23, has played in 55 games so far this season for Chicago, recording 21 goals and 37 points. Hagel ranks second on the Blackhawks for goals and game-winning goals (3) and fourth for scoring and power-play goals (4). In 108 games with Chicago over three seasons, Hagel has posted 30 goals and 61 points. He made his NHL debut March 11, 2020 versus San Jose, the only game he played during the 2019-20 season. Hagel is under contract through the 2023-2024 season with a salary cap number of $1,500,000.

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