Lightning clinch third in Atlantic, setting up first-round series with Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) moves the puck ahead of Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Ilya Mikheyev (65) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

The Tampa Bay Lightning locked down third place in the Atlantic Division -- setting up a first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs clash with the Toronto Maple Leafs -- after Toronto beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Friday.

In the season series against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, the Maple Leafs won two and lost two, including splitting their last two meetings. On April 4 in Tampa, the Leafs blitzed the Lightning, 6-2, only to be crushed 8-1 in the return match back in Tampa on April 21.

In three games against the Lightning, Auston Matthews is the leading Leafs scorer, with three goals and four assists for seven points. For the Lightning, Steven Stamkos leads with two goals and seven assists for nine points in four games.

The Leafs and Lightning will meet in the playoffs for the first time.

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