The Toronto Maple Leafs came into tonight’s game short one centre and still feeling the 4-1 loss from Boston on Saturday night. There was tension in the air surrounding this game ever since the final horn blew to end the previous game. The Maple Leafs dominated game one, and the Bruins owned game two. This series is now a best of five...
The first thirty seconds of the game features Leafs and Bruins playing the body and giving bumps where they can to try and assert dominance, and show they won’t be pushed around.
Auston Matthews tries to tip in a Morgan Rielly shot, but he can’t reach and Tuukka Rask makes the save. The Leafs and Bruins go back and forth after the face off, until Frederik Andersen blocks a David Backes shot with the pads and sends the puck out of play.
Kasperi Kapanen comes racing down the ice and catches a Matthews bank pass, but Rask is in position to catch the shot.
John Tavares tries to shoot, but the Bruins defense won’t let him get close. The puck goes out and Mitchell Marner tries to get another shot off, and Tavares misses the rebound sending it down the ice.
The Leafs have been keeping the Bruins at bay, playing a strong defensive game, while being able to set up for some good shots. The first five minutes were close to perfect for the Leafs.
The Maple Leafs are taking the body to the Bruins, and get a scare when David Pastrnak gets some good chances on Andersen, but Freddie keeps the puck out.
The Bruins continue to stymie the Leafs efforts at getting anything of quality on the net. Trevor Moore and Frederik Gauthier try to get something going in the Bruins end, but can’t after having to dump the puck in around the defenders.
Zach Hyman manages to get down to the face off dots to get a shot, but Rask catches it on the logo and holds the puck. The Leafs get another shot or two, but the Bruins are getting closer to the net and getting more on Andersen.
Ron Hainsey gets called for interference on David Backes with three and a half minutes remaining. The Maple Leafs are able to catch the puck on this penalty kill and dump it down the ice, only letting the Bruins set up in the offensive zone once before the penalty expires.
As the final minute begins, the Leafs get set in the Bruins zone like it’s a power play, and when the referees arm goes up to call a penalty against Charlie McAvoy for holding Andreas Johnsson, Hainsey flubs a pass and sends the puck down the ice at the Leafs empty net. It’s stopped when a Bruins touches puck.
The Leafs finally get the puck down to the Bruins net 30 seconds into the power play, and Auston Matthews gets a John Tavares pass, but puts it right on Rask. The first period ends with no score and 1:20 remaining on the Bruins penalty.
Neither team is going right up against net for shots, but the Leafs can’t get close at all:
The Bruins lead in shots 15-10 after one, The Leafs need to force their way into the front of the net to win this game. It’s not a one sided fight yet, but there’s going to have to be more fight in their game to keep up.
The second opens with the Leafs still on the power play and Mitch Marner rips a slap shot off, but doesn’t score. The Bruins kill the penalty and keep the Leafs off the scoreboard.
After the penalty expires the fourth line gets into the offensive zone, and Morgan Rielly takes a shot on net that hits Rask, but Trevor Moore finds the puck and tucks it in next to the post behind Rask.
The Leafs come right back into the Bruins zone, and keep applying the pressure on the Bruins net, John Tavares takes a shot, but gets it into the side of the net, rather than in the net, fooling the fans behind the net.
After the face off in the Bruins end, the Bruins get a stretch pass down the ice and into the Leafs zone, David Backes gets a shot and rebound that Andersen stop, but then David Krejci shoots it just above Freddie’s elbow to tie the game 52 seconds later.
The Bruins take that energy and keep it in the Leafs end, but once the Leafs get it out, John Tavares comes down into the Leafs end and catches a Mitch Marner pass, but he can’t score as Charlie McAvoy drills him into Tuukka Rask.
Rask stays down after the hit, but doesn’t draw a penalty (duh, but nice try) and will keep going in net.
The Bruins start applying hard pressure and shots on Andersen, but Freddie’s able to keep the puck out of the net, using some acrobatics to do so.
David Backes gets called for high-sticking, and the Leafs get another power play.
This one doesn’t last long, as Auston Matthews goes down on one knee to put a shot past Rask to give the Leafs the lead for the second time this game.
The Leafs keep going at the net, as Patrick Marleau and Connor Brown head to the offensive zone, but a pass gets deflected over the netting, giving the Leafs a break before the face off.
The Bruins get some chances, but the Leafs are getting in front of the net to try and score again, something that was for sure missing from the first period. At the Bruins blue line Matt Grzelcyk gets called for hooking Marleau and the Leafs get their third power play of the game.
The Leafs have the pressure needed to force a corner battle for the puck, and Tavares gets the puck out in front of the net, and Andreas Johnsson goes back hand to make it 3-1 for the Leafs.
After the face off the Bruins get a power play chance of their own after Jake Muzzin is called for holding. The Maple Leafs dump the puck out, but don’t keep the Bruins out of the offensive zone as well as they did on the first power play. Charlie Coyle is able to score off a rebound to tighten up the lead to 3-2 Leafs.
The period ends shortly after this goal, and the Leafs lead in goals 3-2 and the two teams are tied 26-26 in shots.
The third opens with some good back and forth chances, no one is laying off the gas in this game. Patrice Bergeron gets a real good chance to tie the game, but it gets deflected up high and out of the zone.
Five minutes into the period Nikita Zaitsev gets called for delay of game after sending the puck over the glass, giving the Bruins their third power play of the game.
David Pastrnak flails on a shot, letting the Leafs get the puck out of the zone right away, but the Bruins power play grows stronger and harder to control each time they take to the ice. This time the Maple Leafs are able to kill the penalty successfully, keeping the score at 3-2 Leafs.
The Bruins come close to a shot at the front of the net, but Morgan Rielly keeps that from happening and moves the puck down to the Bruins end. Johnsson and Rielly miss shots, but the Leafs keep the play in the offensive zone for a few minutes.
Zach Hyman knocks Zdeno Chara over and steals the puck to take it into the Bruins end, but can’t score off the play.
Charlie Coyle misses a pass that could have tied the game in the Leafs end. Freddie still doing his best to keep the Bruins score board. The Bruins keeping the pressure on the Leafs as the final five minutes of the game begins.
David Krejci almost scores but Freddie keeps it out, and the Bruins are coming in too close for comfort when they’re in the Maple Leafs zone. The puck is dumped out of the Leafs end and Kasperi Kapanen comes close to scoring but gets denied.
Rask watches the bench for the call, but the Leafs don’t give the Bruins a chance to safely pull the goalie until 1:21 left in the game, and the Leafs can’t get the puck out of their zone.
The Leafs have a face off in their end at 1:05 and ice the puck while trying to clear the puck. Their next attempt to clear has the puck go into the Bruins bench. The Leafs get the puck out of their zone, but Marner’s called for a hand pass at 33 seconds.
The Bruins put the pressure on the Leafs net for those 33 seconds, but the Leafs pull out the win through closed lanes, blocked shots, and a great goalie.
The Toronto Maple Leafs win game three of their best of seven series against the Boston Bruins 3-2, and now lead the series 2-+1.
Game four will be Wednesday night, in Toronto, at 7PM on CBC.