21 April, 2018
With four-time Selke Trophy victor Patrice Bergeron (upper body) sidelined for the Boston Bruins on Thursday, the previously quiet Toronto Maple Leafs duo of Auston Matthews and William Nylander had a glorious chance to break out in Game 4.
The Boston forwards couldn't get anything going in Game 3 as the Toronto defensive gameplan stifled them for the duration.
The visiting Bruins will be led by Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Noel Acciari, who subbed for Nash while he was injured, moved back to center the fourth line, with Tommy Wingels returning at right wing after sitting out Games 2-3. We'll have to see if that same script is followed by them in the playoffs. The Leafs have some good news as Nazem Kadri will be back after missing the last three games due to suspension. And that doesn't even include trade deadline acquisition Evander Kane whose two goal effort in Game 1 helped lead the Sharks to their first win of the playoffs. With an extra day off before Game 4 on Thursday (7, NESN), expect another entertaining tilt that could ultimately shift this matchup in a big way. This one sets up nicely for the Bruins to close out the series and the clincher is the fact that the home teams are 5-1 the last six games in this series. But through four games, the dynamic duo has combined for just one goal. Bruce Cassidy said after game 4 that it was a game-time decision.
He's 3-1 in the series with a 2.27 goals-against average and a.926 save percentage. The team's been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. "It sounds simple, but I think that's what we've been able to accomplish for most of the year". "Plus, he will have good energy for us, so it's important to have that going into Boston".
Plekanec saw more ice time in those two games than in any other in his brief Leafs tenure.More news: International Monetary Fund warns rising trade tensions threaten to derail global growth
"Tuukka was our savior tonight", said rookie winger Jake DeBrusk, who scored the insurance goal early in the third period. We've got to compete harder, we've got to play better.
"I'm assuming he thought he would come tonight and dominate the game - that's what I thought", the coach said. "I said, 'I don't know what I'm doing, but what if I do this?"
The B's played the flawless road game, getting great goalie tending, playing good defense and being opportunistic on offense.
The Leafs had a number of chances earlier in the period to go ahead, including Mitch Marner's breakaway off a stretch pass from Morgan Rielly that Rask turned aside with the blocker, but were unable to get one by Rask. "But I think the three games was definitely a little harsh", Kadri said of the league's ruling, according to TSN's Kristen Shilton. That game is over and we are on to today.
UNDATED (AP) - The Colorado Avalanche will go with backup goaltender Andrew Hammond for Game 5 Friday in Nashville after starter Jonathan Bernier suffered a lower-body injury.