Tavares OT Goal Makes History As Maple Leafs Advance To 2023 NHL Playoffs 2nd Round

The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate winning Game Six of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs on an overtime goal by John Tavares #91 against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on April 29, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

By NHL Public Relations

April 29, 2023

Captain John Tavares ended the MapleLeafs’ 19-year series win drought with an overtime goal and officially sent Toronto to the 2023 Second Round on Saturday, April 29.

Toronto defeated Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in OT on the road at Amalie Arena to take the 7-game series 4-2.

The Maple Leafs snapped a streak of eight consecutive series losses dating to the 2004 Conference Semifinals, which was the League’s lengthiest active drought and tied for the fifth longest in NHL history.

Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe became the fifth different general manager and head coach duo in Maple Leafs history to each record their first series-clinching win together. The others are Dan Maloney and Gerry McNamara in the 1986 Division Semifinals, Dick Carroll and Charles Querrie in 1918 NHL Final, Punch Imlach in 1959 SF and Conn Smythe in 1929 QF. Imlach and Smythe were both the head coach and general manager in those respective series.

The Maple Leafs will face the winner of Boston-Florida. The Maple Leafs have faced the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs 16 times in franchise history, with four of those instances coming in the past 10 years. Meanwhile, this could be the very first playoff matchup between the Maple Leafs and Panthers.

The Maple Leafs have now earned a series-clinching win against 17 different franchises (including defunct and non-NHL teams). The only clubs with more are the Canadiens (25), Red Wings (22), Rangers (22), Blackhawks (20), Avalanche/Nordiques (19), Bruins (18) and Penguins (18).

Series-clinching overtime goals, Maple Leafs franchise history:

  • Garry Valk – Game 6 of 1999 CSF
  • Nikolai Borschevsky – Game 7 of 1993 DSF
  • Lanny McDonald – Game 7 of 1978 QF
  • Bill Barilko – Game 5 of 1951 SCF
  • Gordie Drillon – Game 3 of 1939 SF
  • Gordie Drillon – Game 3 of 1938 SF
  • Pep Kelly – Game 4 of 1935 SF
  • Ken Doraty – Game 5 of 1933 SF (6OT)
  • Bob Gracie – Game 2 of 1932 SF

The Maple Leafs became the first team to snap a streak of eight-plus consecutive series losses since the Islanders did so against the Panthers in Game 6 of the 2016 First Round, when current Toronto captain John Tavares tallied the double-overtime clincher.

And now, John Tavares can be added to Series-clinching overtime goals in Maple Leafs history.

Source: nhl.com

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