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Leafs 4, Bruins 2: The Leafs have arrived, time for a series
June 23 2018, 04:49 | Van Peters
Mixing the running and gunning that was not seen in the first two games of this National Hockey League playoff series with lots of close calls in their own end, the Leafs took a 4-2 win Monday night. He was down on the ice on all fours but eventually made his way to the Bruins locker room.
Toronto, which was 1 for 7 with the man advantage through the first two games, made the Bruins pay just seven seconds later when van Riemsdyk scored his second goal of the series slipping the rebound of Tyler Bozak's initial shot through Rask at 17:05 to give the Leafs their first lead of the series.
Jack Edwards was not happy with the referees in Game 3 between the Bruins and Leafs.
Babcock is nothing if not stubborn. Leafs centre Nazem Kadri sat out the second game of his three-game suspension.
"We stuck to our game plan", Marner said. Patrice Bergeron also got stopped on a point-blank opportunity with Andersen down on the ice.
"If we didn't have success, I thought we were probably going to be done", Babcock said.
The Bruins generated several golden scoring chances against the Leafs throughout the third, including two near-misses by David Pastrnak within 26 seconds on an early power play. But one had to wonder how the physicality took its toll over the course of 60 minutes, maybe slowing Pastrnak down a little bit, maybe reducing his courage to get to the dirty areas. Their 28 home wins in the regular season were tied for the most in franchise history with the 2000-01 squad that hoisted the Stanley Cup.
Auston Matthews would score his first goal of the postseason in front of his parents at Air Canada Centre. So, with the series shifting to Toronto, they knew they would face a desperate Maple Leafs bunch hoping to avoid a 3-0 first round deficit.
Plekanec and his new linemates did not overwhelm Bergeron and company but, more important, they were not themselves overwhelmed.
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The Matthews line was much better and kept the Bruins on the defensive in the early going and then hit its stride in the second period.
And the Leafs have obviously scouted the Bruins defence, which likes to pinch in at the Leafs blue line to keep the offensive possession alive, or create another play to the net. Matthews said. "That was a game changer for sure, because there was still two minutes left and (if he doesn't make the save) now you're down by one".
However, instead of cancelling those tickets (as would other teams, such as the Winnipeg Jets), MLSE is charging them a 30 per cent premium to renew their season seats for next year. The Leafs managed to stay out of the penalty box in the first 40 minutes, which was enough to finally put a dent in the Boston power play.
The Leafs threw everything that they had at the Bruins on Monday night, and until Marleau's second goal, it seemed like the B's were one play away from stealing the game and sealing the fate of Toronto's season.
Blake Comeau and Gabriel Bourque also scored in a furious opening period that revved up a pom-pom waving capacity crowd. The Maple Leafs made a determined and successful effort to get physical with the Bruins' right wing that had run roughshod over them through the first two games of the series.
However, Frederik Andersen was the difference in this game. The Leafs were quick to answer though, with Patrick Marleau scoring only 43 seconds later. But Andersen committed the cardinal sin for goalies - he let in another softie after his teammates worked mightily to get the lead back.
But the Bruins again responded when Chara ripped a shot off Andersen's mask and in from an impossible angle at 6:19.
Fortunately for the Leafs, Matthews and Nylander stepped forward in the last half of the period with their best work of the series. Matthews put the Leafs ahead 3-2 with 5:13 to play before the third on his top-shelf wrister from the left circle.