It’s been 19 years since Toronto Maple Leafs fans have experienced a playoff series victory. They finally got their chance again on Saturday night as Toronto ended the NHL’s longest active drought without a postseason series triumph thanks to a 2-1 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the first-round matchup between Atlantic Division rivals.
Captain John Tavares scored the overtime winner to put the curse to bed.
LET’S. GO. LEAFS. NATION!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/dkttq8eBpW
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 30, 2023
The Maple Leafs had lost eight consecutive postseason series prior to Saturday's victory, with the slump dating all the way back to 2004. Toronto defeated the Ottawa Senators in seven games in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals that year, but then fell to the Philadelphia Flyers in six games to end their season.
Now, the Maple Leafs have written a new chapter and given this core its first taste of playoff success together. Their fans almost broke the internet following the series-clinching win on Saturday night, rejoicing that the Round 1 curse finally came to an end.
Go Leafs Go being yelled up and down Yonge. Enjoy it. pic.twitter.com/x7Xd5lL4Vc
— Faizal Khamisa (@FaizalKhamisa) April 30, 2023
— Cooper Street (@Cooperstreet14) April 30, 2023
— Will Arnett™ (@arnettwill) April 30, 2023
Leafs finally making it out of the 1st round pic.twitter.com/U3sJ1VXvMH
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) April 30, 2023
LEAFS WIN A PLAYOFF SERIES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 19 YEARS!!! pic.twitter.com/z3HUnyMYwH
— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) April 30, 2023
IT'S HAPPENED! IT'S FINALLY HAPPENED!! THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS HAVE WON A FIRST ROUND SERIES!!!! HOLY CRAP!!
— Michael the Mega Lucario (CCRemix) (@CheesecakeRemix) April 30, 2023
OMG Toronto Maple Leafs broke the 19 year old curse. Let's do it again in the second round! So proud of these boys! pic.twitter.com/fBhDUUO1il
— Susan Adele Bates (@SusanB416) April 30, 2023
The boy who came home to live a childhood dream is the one who ended the Leafs’ playoff series drought pic.twitter.com/b2jg71rk28
— Michael (@mic_mazz) April 30, 2023
The Maple Leafs’ players will also have time to celebrate as they await the winner of the series between the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers. That matchup is headed for a do-or-die Game 7 on Sunday in Boston.