Sheldon Keefe’s men finished second in the Atlantic Divison behind the President’s Trophy-winning Florida Panthers. They have the league’s best goal scorer in Auston Mathews, who won the Rocket Richard Trophy after scoring a franchise-record 60 goals. They’ll have home ice advantage in front of what will be a raucous Stanley Cup-starved fan base that’ll make Scotiabank Arena a tough place for any of the team’s opponents in the playoffs. The pieces seem like they’re in place for a potential Maple Leafs Cup run — a run that’s long overdue.
The Leafs haven’t won a playoff series since 2004 and haven’t hoisted the Stanley Cup since 1967, when there were six teams in the NHL. In 2022, they’ll aim to put an end to the drought.Step one toward a deep playoff run comes Monday night when they host the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round series.
“We know we’re in a special market, special fan base that is going to add a lot of fuel for us and push us along,” Leafs captain John Tavares told reporters ahead of Monday’s Game 1. “That’s the special part about being here.”On the other side, the Lightning will look to do something no team has done since the New York Islanders in the early ’80s: a 3-peat.
“Just because you’ve gone through it doesn’t mean you’re automatically, ‘Well, hey, we’ve done this before,'” head coach Jon Cooper said ahead of Game 1. “It’s still hard work and that’s what our group’s been good at.
“They understand the work you’ve got to put in and fighting through adversity at times — it takes work.”
Winners of Game 1 go on to win the series 69.1 percent of the time. It’s safe to say that Monday’s contest will be a big game for both teams.
What channel is Leafs vs. Lightning Game 1 on?
- Date: Monday, May 2
- TV channel: ESPN 2 (U.S.), Sportsnet, CBC (Canada)
- Live streaming: Sling TV
Leafs vs. Lightning Game 1 will air on ESPN 2. In Canada, the game will air on Sportsnet and CBC.
Viewers in the U.S. can stream every NHL playoff game live on Sling TV. With the Sling Orange Sports Extra package, get $10 off your first month now with access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and TNT. NHL playoff games on ABC are simulcast on ESPN3, which is included with Sling Orange, available for $35 per month, including $25 the first month for new subscribers.
Leafs vs. Lightning start time
- Date: Monday, May 2
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET | 4:30 p.m. PT
Game 1 of the Leafs vs. Lightning series will start around 7:3:0 p.m. ET on Monday, May 2. The game will be played at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning schedule, TV channels
(All times Eastern)
|Mon., May 2||at Toronto||7:30 p.m.||ESPN 2, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Wed., May 4||at Toronto||7:30 p.m.||ESPN 2, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Fri., May 6||at Tampa Bay||7:30 p.m.||TBS, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Sun., May 8||at Tampa Bay||7:30 p.m.||TBS, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|
|*Tue., May 10||at Toronto||TBD||TBD|
|*Thu., May 12||at Tampa Bay||TBD||TBD|
|*Sat., May 14||at Toronto||TBD||TBD|
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning odds
Maple Leafs: -130
Odds provided by Sports Interaction
Today’s NHL playoff schedule
Game 1: Bruins at Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET – ESPN, SN360
Game 1: Blues at Wild, 9:30 p.m. ET – ESPN, SN360
Game 1: Kings at Oilers, 10:00 p.m. ET – ESPN2, Sportsnet, CBC
Tuesday’s NHL playoff schedule
Game 1: Penguins at Rangers, 7 p.m. ET – ESPN, Sportsnet, CBC
Game 1: Capitals at Panthers, 7:30 p.m. ET – ESPN2, SN360
Game 1: Predators at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Game 1: Stars at Flames, 9:30 p.m. ET – ESPN2, Sportsnet