TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Minor league call-up Joseph Woll made 46 saves, William Nylander had a goal and two assists, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Tuesday night in a preview of an opening round playoff series next week.
Woll, recalled on an emergency basis from the AHL Toronto Marlies, stopped Nikita Kucherov from the low right circle during a 6-on-4 with 1:31 to play.
After flying into Tampa on Tuesday, Woll was informed around six hours before faceoff that the NHL approved the transaction. Over several stints this season with the Maple Leafs, he has won five in a row after losing his debut.
“It’s been a little crazy,” Woll said. “Pretty special to come out here and get the win.”
Tampa Bay beat Toronto in the first round of last season’s playoffs en route to its third straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Maple Leafs rested forwards Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner, and defenceman Mark Giordano. Matt Onuska from Windsor of the OHL served as the backup goalie due to salary cap issues.
Toronto also got goals from Luke Schenn, Calle Jarnkrok and Ryan O’Reilly.
Alex Killorn, Nick Perbix and Mikhail Sergachev scored for the Lightning, who have lost four in a row. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 20 shots.
“It was a weird game,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “I don’t know if anybody got anything out of that game. Clearly there was mandate to call some penalties. There was a lot them.”
There were several scrums and 19 penalties, including four fighting majors. Schenn fought Tampa Bay’s Pat Maroon.
“It was pretty physical,” Schenn said. “There was a lot of emotion in the game, which is kind of what you expect going into a playoff series when you know you’re going to meet that team next week.”
Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said before the game that it is unlikely that goalie Ilya Samsonov will play again before the playoffs. Samsonov started in Monday’s 2-1 overtime win at Florida, a game in which Dubas said the Maple Leafs used a regular lineup due to the playoff ramifications.
“I’m not (going) to get into the specifics of it (other) than it’s something he has dealt with, he will deal with it,” Dubas said of Samsonov.
Dubas confirmed that the Maple Leafs’ other goalie Matt Murray, who has missed five games, has a concussion and continues to make progress in his rehab.
Jarnkrok put Toronto up 3-2 with 3:04 left in the second on the Maple Leafs’ second power-play goal. The NHL’s second-best power play was 2-for-6 overall.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay’s third-overall power play failed to score on eight chances.
O’Reilly and Sergachev traded goals midway through the third.
Woll made the most saves by a Toronto rookie since Pete Ing turned aside 46 stops on Oct, 18, 1990. … Lightning C Steven Stamkos received a silver stick for playing in his 1,000th game last week in a pre-game ceremony. … Onuska and another amateur goalie, Samuel Richard from the University of New Brunswick, took part in individual morning skates. This was the third straight game an amateur was used. … Lightning RW Nikita Kucherov got his 82nd assist and 112th point on Perbix’s goal.
Maple Leafs: Close out the regular season Thursday night at the New York Rangers.
Lightning: Host Detroit to end the regular season on Thursday night.
Mark Didtler, The Associated Press