They scored early.
Steven Stamkos scored just one minute into the game and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 in Game 4 to tie their best-of-seven First Round matchup at 2-2.
Stamkos took a pass from Nikita Kucherov just inside the blue line and rifled a one-timer past Maple Leafs netminder Jack Campbell to send the Amalie Arena crowd into a frenzy 60 seconds into the game.
There was a lot of talk after Game 3 whether or not the Lightning would go with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen, but Coach Cooper stuck with 12 & 6 and was rewarded in a big way.
4th liners Pierre-Edouard Bellemare & Pat Maroon scored 2:38 apart to give Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead just shy of eight minutes in.
The building was rocking and the Bolts continued to put the pressure on the Leafs.
Ross Colton snapped a shot that went off the glove of Campbell and in at 3:17 of the 2nd period to make it 4-0.
Corey Perry put the Lightning up five with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 5:25 and during the next TV timeout, Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe pulled Campbell in favor of backup Erik Kallgren.
William Nylander scored a pair of goals for the Maple Leafs in the 3rd, but it was too little, too late for the Leafs.
Ondrej Palat scored an unassisted empty net goal at 14:40 and Colton scored his second of the night - also an empty-netter - at 17:44.
Jake Muzzin also scored for Toronto.
Campbell made Kallgren 11 saves on 16 shots. Kallgren stopped all 10 shots he saw on the evening.
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Kucherov, Hedman) - 1:00
- Tampa Bay - Bellemare - (Perry, McDonagh) - 5:20
- Tampa Bay - Maroon - (Killorn, Sergachev) - 7:58
- Tampa Bay - Colton - (Hagel, Foote) - 3:17
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Perry - (Kucherov, Point) - 5:25
- Toronto - PPG - Nylander - (Matthews, Rielly) - 2:27
- Toronto - Nylander - (Tavares) - 12:01
- Tampa Bay - Palat - (Unassisted) - 14:40
- Toronto - Muzzin - (Brodie, Blackwell) - 15:41
- Tampa Bay - Colton - (Hagel, McDonagh) - 17:44
- Toronto - Spezza - (Cross Checking) - 8:04
- Tampa Bay - Cernak - (Tripping) - 17:15
- Toronto - Kase - (Slashing) - 19:33
- Tampa Bay - Paul - (Tripping) - 19:33
- Toronto - Tavares - (Tripping) - 3:57
- Toronto - Kampf - (Delay of Game) - 4:06
- Toronto - DOUBLE MINOR - Kase - (High Sticking) - 5:52
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Tripping) - 6:31
- Toronto - Engvall - (Slashing) - 14:14
- Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Tripping) - 14:52
- Toronto - Brodie - (Slashing) - 16:52
- Tampa Bay - Sergachev - (Roughing) - 2:27
- Toronto - Bunting - (High Sticking) - 8:03
- Toronto - Mikheyev - (Roughing) - 10:43
- Tampa Bay - McDonagh - (Slashing) - 10:43
- Toronto - Engvall - (10-Minute Misconduct) - 19:29
- Tampa Bay - Hagel - (10-Minute Misconduct) - 19:29
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Tuesday night as they travel to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs for Game 5 of this best-of-seven series. Puck drop is slated for 7:30pm with the pregame show starting at 6:30pm on NewsRadio WFLA & Lightning Power Play on the iHeartRadio app.
PHOTO : Getty Images