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Recap: Maple Leafs and Bruins play off — Boston with the win

A very close game goes to the home team.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Lines Tonight

First Period

Interesting that the Bruins have David Pastrnak with the top line tonight instead of driving his own line from the wing.

Matt Murray!!!! Robbery, just outright robbery in what I was sure was a classic Leafs goal against.

LOL. Linus Ullmark knocks the net off, and all the “goalies do it on purpose” types are busy rewriting their theory to account for that one. Because I don’t think Ullmark lives in fear of other teams’ offence.

If you liked the olde tyme staged fights, and miss them, this just barely within the rules, yet still totally staged and fake effort is for you:

Charlie McAvoy hauls down Calle Järnkrok and we’re going to a 5F PP.

And away we go, with a goal for Michael Bunting. Some good zone entry here, and then John Tavares just does what he does.

1-0 Leafs

William Nylander loses control of the puck over the line, and then makes it worse by falling down and handing it to a Bruin for a breakaway. Total and utter brainfart. Murray has his back.

Dryden Hunt takes a penalty for colliding with a guy who had decided not to play the puck. It’s a penalty, but a frustrating call — and it came right after a chuckle-filled montage of Brad Marchand committing stick infractions. Har har!

Good PK gets it done.

Simmonds with a good scoring chance, but Ullmark is too much for him.

Matthews with a better one that Ullmark also, annoyingly, has.

Mitch Marner can’t convert on a great chance, and away we go down to the other end, and the Bruins score.

Tie Game

Morgan Rielly with the classic Leafs turnover goal.

And yes, Ullmark looks like he threw his stick, and that was not called.

Thoughts

Leafs missed the net more times than they got a SOG in that period, making what you see on the TV particularly misleading.

The Bruins did not have great puck discipline, and were prone to stick checks. Meanwhile the Leafs just made too many of those famous unforced errors of theirs.

Second Period

Bunting and Trent Frederic go off for the usual stuff a few seconds in.

Late last period, Pierre Engvall made a really stupid pass. I forgive him.

2-1 Leafs

That’s a goal-scorer’s goal.

Conor Timmins makes a pass that would be normal when you aren’t facing a top line, and Pastrnak just grabs it and goes. Murray can’t stop it.

Tie Game

Ullmark with an incredible save on Matthews as the Leafs get some exciting zone time.

Leafs are taking it to the Bruins this period, but you know who won’t let anything in.

So naturally. The Leafs run their own forechecking play on themselves, and the Bruins take the lead against this somewhat mystifying fourth line.

3-2 Bruins

Bruins instantly take a tripping penalty, so the 5F come out to play.

Holy cow. Red Post, the NHL’s best goalie, makes a great save on a shorty chance from the Bruins.

Really great finish to this period as the Leafs press hard.

Thoughts

Corsi and xG is dead even at five-on-five, so if you’re seeing the Leafs horribly outplayed, you might be watching through the glass half empty.

That said, if it takes this intensity of pressure to dent Ullmark, you can’t whiff on passes and give the puck away in return.

The Bruins are weak on overall puck control. They aren’t as good at five-on-five play as the Leafs can be. That’s the place to press hard.

Third Period

We get the Nylander and Marner flip to start the third, along with the bizarre choice to play Timmins with Rielly.

And that is apparently a genius move because this is just Mr. Baseball and Mr. Marner making a goal out of nothing.

Tie Game

Bunting on a great, big-effort breakaway, but Ullmark is Ullmark, and everyone on the Leafs are shooting wide trying to make too good a shot.

Leafs had a scoring chance coming on, and they take a penalty. In the offensive zone. Marner off for tripping for... um, not tripping the guy.

Really good PK that featured real minutes from Nylander and Rielly, which always scares me.

Leafs having some trouble keeping the puck in the zone tonight, and they do again with Liljegren losing control. Best team in the NHL, though, we should expect them to be difficult to play.

Ah crap. Boston score on a rapid fire series of shots where they Leafs just never come close to getting control.

4-3 Bruins

There was no actual goalie interference, which is why there was no review. (Strange thing to talk up for drama on the TV there.)

Leafs try, but they can’t tie it back up.

Thoughts

I was surprised how much the US broadcast did talk about the Leafs. No wait, I had it on Sportsnet, nvm.