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Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stops the puck in front of Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares during the second period of Game 3, on May 7, in Sunrise, Fla.The Associated Press

In dire straits.

That’s where the Maple Leafs are after Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Panthers at FLA Live Arena. Not only did they fall into a 0-3 hole in their second-round playoff series but they lost starting goalie Ilya Samsonov to boot.

Sam Reinhart scored the winner for Florida on a wraparound 3 minutes 2 seconds into extra time.

Samsonov left the game 37 seconds into the second period when teammate Luke Schenn slid into him during a Florida rush to the net. The extent of his injury is not known.

Rookie Joseph Woll was inserted in his place. He had played in a mop-up role in one game this post-season. He stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced.

Toronto had not lost three in a row since October and now faces the unenviable task of having to win four to keep its season alive. It reached the second round this year for the first time since 2004 but it will take all but a miracle to go further.

“This game could have gone either way,” Sheldon Keefe, the Toronto coach, said. “It was a missed opportunity for us. Now we have no margin for error.”

Game 4 in the series is back at the Home of the Rat Trick on Wednesday. In the Panthers first season, Scott Mellanby scored twice in a game – and also whacked a rat with his stick in the dressing room – and thus the Rat Trick was born.

Florida has won six straight since it fell behind Boston 3-1 in its first-round series. Toronto won all three road games in its first-round series but could not duplicate the feat here.

Schenn was given a penalty for tripping on the play where Samsonov was hurt. With one second remaining in the man-advantage Anthony Duclair scored on a breakaway to tie the score 1-1. The goal was setup by a perfect pass up the seam by Aaron Ekblad.

Toronto got out to a fast start. Auston Matthews rung a shot off the crossbar just seconds into the contest.

Less than two and a half minutes after the puck drop Sam Lafferty fired home a wrist shot from 25 feet out off a crisp pass from David Kampf. It was Lafferty’s first goal this post-season in seven games. Morgan Rielly was awarded a secondary assist, which extended his point streak to eight games.

It is the longest post-season run put together by a Toronto defenceman and gave him 11 points in the playoffs, the most by a Maple Leafs blueliner in nine games.

The first period was tightly played and neither team was able to generate too many chances. On Toronto’s best, Sergei Bobrovsky made a tidy glove save off a hard wrist shot by Jake McCabe.

The Maple Leafs went back ahead 2-1 with 12:28 left in the second period on a goal by defenceman Erik Gustafsson, who had appeared in only one previous game this post-season. William Nylander and Jake McCabe recorded the assists. It was the first for the latter in the playoffs.

Carter Verhaeghe tied it at 2-2 with 7:32 left in the second when he deflected a shot by Radko Gudas past Woll.

“I thought Woll was excellent,” Keefe said. “I’m not surprised. He is ready for this.”

Florida, which clinched the second wild card in the Eastern Conference by one point, came back from a 3-1 disadvantage in the first round to beat Boston, the league’s best team during the regular season.

Toronto finished second in the Atlantic Division and defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the first round.

The Panthers’ cavernous home rink was full. There were clusters of Maple Leafs fans on hand but not as many as one would expect in spring in the Sunshine State. Part of that was because of the policy Florida enacted to restrict first ticket sales to U.S. residents. It was rescinded after one day; the club said it made the initial decision to be certain home fans would have access to premium seats.

Toronto is without rookie forward Matthew Knies for at least two games because of a concussion. He exited Thursday’s outing in the first period after being checked and wrestled to the ice by Panthers forward Sam Bennett.

No penalty was called, although Bennett was later penalized – and fined $5,000 on Friday – for cross-checking Michael Bunting in the head.

Knies, 20, joined Toronto after helping the University of Minnesota reach the NCAA title game. The 2021 second-round pick had one assist in three regular-season games and has four points through seven games in the playoffs.

Bobrovsky had 22 saves for Florida, including two on Matthews in the third period and another on John Tavares.

He was 24-20-3 during the regular season with a .901 save percentage. The 2013 and 2017 Vézina Trophy winner allowed just four goals on 73 shots in Games 1 and 2 and has a .935 save percentage over the past five starts.

“You have to give credit to the Panthers,” Keefe said. “They really defended well. Today was a different game than the other two. There were not a lot of offensive opportunities out there.”

So now the Maple Leafs dream of challenging for its first Stanley Cup championship in 56 years looks impossible.

None of their top four forwards has scored in the series and the Maple Leafs have scored two goals in each of the first three games.

Depending on the nature of Samsonov’s injury, they are left with the quandary of what to do in the net. Woll has played well in limited opportunities.

And Keefe said that the oft-injured Matt Murray is healthy and has been cleared to play.

Storm clouds are gathering.

“Our goal was to win this one game tonight,” Keefe said. “To win four you have to start with one. Now they are in full control.”

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