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Tampa Bay Lightning centre Brayden Point celebrates his goal with teammate Alex Killorn as Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin looks on in Toronto on May 4.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

So much for doing it the easy way.

After taking a lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, the Maple Leafs will head to Florida for Game 3 on Friday with their best-of-seven playoff matchup tied at 1-1.

The teams have traded one-sided victories thus far. Toronto won 5-0 in Game 1 and were soundly defeated 5-3 by the Lightning on Wednesday at Scotiabank Arena. The outcome was not in doubt for much of the way.

Victor Hedman, Corey Perry, Nikita Kucherov, Brandon Hagel and Brayden Point scored for the visitors while Michael Bunting, Mitch Marner and Alex Kerfoot answered for Toronto.

Toronto was assessed seven penalties, which led to the Lightning scoring three times with a man advantage.

“We took too many penalties,” Wayne Simmonds, the Maple Leafs’ forward, said.

He was called for roughing and crosschecking; Tampa Bay scored afterward each time.

“It stinks,” Simmonds said.

It was the 15th consecutive victory for the Lightning following a loss in the post-season since it was swept by Columbus in 2019 in the opening round. In each of the past two seasons, Tampa Bay went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Andrei Vasilevsky has been in the net in all 15 of those victories; on Wednesday night, he turned away 31 of the 34 of the pucks directed his shots that were thrust upon him. Jack Campbell had 29 saves in the loss. He shut out Tampa Bay on Monday.

Hedman broke the deadlock when he slid a puck around Campbell with two seconds left in the first period.

Up to that point, the Maple Leafs’ netminder had stopped 30 shots in a row and kept the Lightning off the scoreboard for 79 minutes 58 seconds, spanning two games.

In the early going, Campobell drew “Soup” calls from the crowd with a handful of tough stops. At the opposite end of the ice, Vasileyskiy was perfect. On his best save in the first period, he thwarted David Kampf on a breakaway. In the second, he reached up high from a sitting position to grab a puck uncorked by Timothy Liljegren from close range.

The crowd was deafening from the moment the home team skated onto the ice. It does not seem possible but at times, it was even louder than during Game 1.

“You can see how the crowd is embracing us,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said earlier Wednesday. “I am hoping for more of the same.”

They got it but it didn’t matter.

Toronto had dominated in on Monday but expected a better effort in Game 2 from Tampa Bay. The blowout loss tied for the largest playoff margin of defeat in Lightning history.

“I thought they played harder and were more disciplined,” Simmonds said.

Bunting returned to the Maple Leafs’ first line for the first time since he sustained an undisclosed injury on April 23. The left wing led all NHL rookies with 63 points and had 23 goals playing alongside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

William Nylander, who sat out practice on Tuesday while he recovered from food poisoning, was inserted as the left wing on the third line with David Kampf and Pierre Engvall.

Nylander played Monday despite being plagued by an intestinal illness that caused him to throw up multiple times in the hours before the game.

“I think it was the sushi I had for lunch,” Nylander, who had career highs with 34 goals and 80 points during the regular season, said Wednesday morning.

Even though he felt miserable, he never thought about sitting out.

“It was Game 1,” Nylander said. “You have to be ready to go.”

Forward Kyle Clifford was absent as he served a one-game suspension meted out by the NHL’s player safety department. Clifford was called for boarding and given a game misconduct penalty for a dangerous hit against Tampa Bay’s Ross Colton in the first period on Monday.

“I didn’t like the hit, so I wasn’t surprised the league had a say in it,” Keefe said.

Game 1 spun wildly out of control for the Lightning. Its players were so irked that they started a melee in the third period in which three players on each side were sent to the showers. This time, it was Toronto that unravelled, taking undisciplined penalties as they fell further and further behind.

“It takes everyone out of rhythm,” John Tavares, the Maple Leafs’ captain, said. “We definitely know we can do better in that area.”

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was disappointed with how the team played in Game 1 but went into Wednesday’s contest unconcerned.

“Monday night was ugly, let’s make no bones about it,” Cooper said. “But this isn’t the first time that we’ve lost a Game 1 and we still won a series. It’s not ideal, but it’s not like it’s uncharted water either.”

Cooper said the Lightning made it too easy for Toronto in Game 1.

“I don’t coach Tampa,” Keefe responded. “He is going to have his thoughts and opinions on his team. I think it is natural for a coach to do that.

“We did a lot of good things in the game we could build upon but at the same time that is not the Tampa team we prepared for. We expect to see that team here tonight.”

The teams combined for 113 minutes in penalties on Monday and Game 2 was chippy as well.

A scrum followed the game’s first shot.

Patrick Maroon was sent off for roughing Liljegren in the first period.

The Lightning tough guy complained all the way to the penalty box. Not good at lip reading but it looked something like: “I didn’t do nuthin’.”

Toronto trailed 5-1 in the third before it scored twice to make the game look closer than it was.

“It was too big of a hole to come back from,” Keefe said.

The next two games in Tampa, with Game 4 scheduled on Sunday night.

Now it is the Maple Leafs’ turn to bounce back. If they don’t, it will be the sixth straight year they have lost in the first round.