Leafs Stop The Bruins 4-2

Wednesday, 18 Apr, 2018

So the series is now 2-1 Boston with game four Thursday night in Toronto.

All was forgiven in the third period, however, as Andersen stopped 18 shots to give the Leafs a 4-2 win, as they pulled within a game of the Boston Bruins, who now lead the series 2-1.

No one should be surprised when the Bruins' captain defies Father Time, but Chara may have been the best player on the ice for the B's on Monday night. The Leafs scored as many goals in their first win of the playoffs as they had over those first two road contests, cutting their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. "We need him to be good", Leafs coach Mike Babcock said about Andersen during his postgame press conference with the Toronto media.

Babcock is nothing if not stubborn. Not only were they missing Nazem Kadri (suspension), Leo Komarov was also out of the lineup with a lower-body injury.

"We stuck to our game plan", Marner said.

Clearly, Babcock must have stumbled on that old YouTube footage of Brad Marchand saying Plekanec, more than any other National Hockey League forward, drove him insane.

I don't think anyone expected the first two games to be blowouts, and I also don't think anyone believed that the Bruins were going to sweep the Leafs prior to this series starting.

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.

"It just feels like an quake in your feet when you score, especially in playoffs", Matthews said.

Overcoming an early deficit wasn't an issue for the Bruins in the regular season.

Auston Matthews would score his first goal of the postseason in front of his parents at Air Canada Centre.

This is a matchup the Leafs are going to lose no matter what they do, because Boston's top line is simply too strong.

Plekanec and his new linemates did not overwhelm Bergeron and company but, more important, they were not themselves overwhelmed.

Boston weathered the storm early and responded quite well with attacks of their own for most of the period.

From a team perspective, the Leafs will have to again utilize their speed to be disruptive in the offensive zone. There were at least three giveaways in the first period, two by the defence, and in the first two games the Bruins would surely have put those pucks in the net.

The question for the Leafs now, though, is whether this burst of scoring is something they can sustain against a team that's so dominant at even strength.

In case you haven't noticed, Marner leads all Maple Leafs in playoff scoring with a goal and three assists, just as he did in the regular season.

Things grew tighter in the second period, a little tighter than they should have thanks to goaltender Frederik Andersen.

The second period opened as a slightly slower version of the first until Adam McQuaid scored on a point shot that squeaked under Freddy Anderson's pad.

Marleau's goal came when he got behind Krug to tip in a wonderful pass from Mitch Marner. When the puck was just about parallel with the goal line, Chara snapped a wrister that hit Andersen's mask and went behind him for the equalizer at 6:19. While the Leafs controlled possession over the first 20 minutes, the Bruins came with an impressive pushback that threw Andersen off his game in the oddest way, where the seemingly easy saves looked painfully hard. Both teams exchanged chances but the Maple Leafs were able to come out of the period with the lead once again. Matthews put the Leafs ahead 3-2 with 5:13 to play before the third on his top-shelf wrister from the left circle. It was his first goal of the series. Andersen was fighting the puck after that point, even when the Leafs restored their lead. Then he saved a sure goal with two minutes to go, diving backwards to get the blade of his stick on a shot.