Third period, 18:14, Maple Leafs 2-1: The Bruins can’t do anything with the power play, and they still trail with a little more than a minute to go.
Third period, 16:12, Maple Leafs 2-1: The Bruins’ power play, which cost them earlier in the game, will get a chance to redeem itself here.
Tyler Bozak just flipped the puck out of play in his own zone, which is, of course, delay of game. He’ll go to the box for two minutes in what is a huge power play for Boston.
Third period, 11:12, Maple Leafs 2-1: It was coming. You could feel it coming. Now, we have a hockey game again.
The Bruins have tilted the ice for much of the third period, and it finally paid off here midway through the third period. Zdeno Chara just beat James Reimer blocker side up under the crossbar to cut the lead in half.
Third period, 8:05, Maple Leafs 2-0: The latest missed opportunity comes when Rich Peverley’s shot is stopped by James Reimer, and while Chris Kelly was there for the rebound, he couldn’t do anything with it, as he just wasn’t able to get enough on it to get it by or over the goalie.
Third period, 6:30, Maple Leafs 2-0: The frustration is starting to set in for the Bruins, especially those on the Patrice Bergeron line. This time it was Bergeron throwing it ahead to Tyler Seguin, who couldn’t get enough of his stick on the puck, and another opportunity is foiled.
Seguin was visibly frustrated going back to the bench where, I believe, it was the bench door that was slammed shut.
Third period, 1:58, Maple Leafs 2-0: The Bruins are really up against it now.
Clarke MacArthur just turned Johnny Boychuk into a turnstile, and the Maple Leafs now have a 2-0 lead. MacArthur scored his second goal in as many games when he took the puck off the boards and around Tuukka Rask for the goal.
Third period, 0:01, Maple Leafs 1-0: The third period is underway with the Bruins looking to get something going.
Second period reaction: Again, the Maple Leafs continue to play what’s been a perfect road game. They’ve put pressure on the Bruins, and they’ve been physical. They look like a team that has its back up against the wall, and they finally broke through on the scoreboard in the second period.
That came on a pretty bad power-play gaffe from Andrew Ference at the Toronto blue line. Ference is on the second power-play unit for this one with Wade Redden out, and it cost the Bruins in the second. Ference couldn’t handle the puck at the top of the zone on the power play, and Tyler Bozak made him pay. Bozak stole the puck and beat Ference down the ice before scoring the game’s lone goal.
James Reimer has also been solid, another key component to winning on the road. As good as Rask has been, Reimer has been there to match him and maybe a little better. He was helped by a lack of action in the first period, but the B’s picked it up with 17 shots in the second, and Reimer stopped all of them. Just as importantly, he controlled rebounds, and that made all the difference. However, the key to success offensively may be to just keep getting pucks on net. Make Reimer beat you, as he hasn’t really stolen a game in this series yet.
End second period, Maple Leafs 1-0: The second period comes to an end, with the Bruins trailing by a goal.
The Bruins had a chance late in the second period when Jaromir Jagr walked the puck in from the sideboards, but he was robbed by James Reimer, who turned away the shot with a glove save of all things. Even better for the Leafs, he didn’t allow a rebound on the save.
There will be 47 seconds of 4-on-4 to start the third period. That’s because Zdeno Chara and Ryan O’Byre were given roughing minors following a post-whistle scrum in front of the Toronto net.
Second period, 14:27, Maple Leafs 1-0: Going back to the goal, it started with another great save from James Reimer. The Toronto goalie made a huge save from in close on Tyler Seguin, who just cannot buy a goal right now.
Second period, 11:27, Maple Leafs 1-0: The Maple Leafs are still very much alive.
Andrew Ference just turned it over at the blue line, and Tyler Bozak makes the Bruins pay. Bozak got by Ference, walked in on Rask and he beat the goalie five-hole to take the game’s first lead.
Second period, 10:03, 0-0: James Reimer just made his biggest save of the period, game and series. The Toronto goalie just robbed Patrice Bergeron on the doorstep with a crazy right toe save.
That eventually sprung James van Riemsdyk the other way, but Adam McQuaid ran him down to break up the potential scoring chance.
Seconds later, van Riemsdyk was whistled for a penalty. The UNH product gets two minutes for interference.
Second period, 6:01, 0-0: The second period looks much like the first did for the Bruins. They aren’t able to get much going in terms of breakouts right now, and the Leafs continue to put the pressure on.
It looks like Brad Marchand is going to try and get himself into the game the way he often does, which is by agitating. The pesky forward has already gotten into it with Joffrey Lupul and Cody Franson so far here in the second period. Whatever it takes to get him going, the Bruins must be thinking at this point, as long as he avoids taking a stupid penalty.
Second period, 0:01, 0-0: The second period is underway.
First period reaction: That was a very, very good first period for a Maple Leafs team on the road facing elimination. The Leafs came out with plenty of jump, and they’re playing physical. They’re doing everything it takes to win on the road in the playoffs — while facing elimination as well — but they have nothing to show for it. That’s because of Tuukka Rask and Tuukka Rask only. The Bruins goalie has been phenomenal, and he picked up right where he left off in Toronto.
The Bruins may be able to count on Rask to stop everything he sees in this one, but that would be a risky proposition. The Bruins, although they won 12 of 15 faceoffs in the first period, are being outshot 19-8. The juxtaposition of those two numbers really backs up the thought that they’ve been really sloppy with the puck. They’ve been especially sloppy in their own zone and into the neutral zone, with Rask bailing them out a bunch of times already.
The Leafs are trying to get physical with David Krejci and his line. That was very evident on the last shift of the period where Carl Gunnarsson and Krejci got tied up near the Toronto net, and then Nikolai Kulemin took a run at Milan Lucic. Even with the rough stuff, Krejci and Lucic have been particularly good on that first line, and they’re not shying away from the contact one bit.
End first period, 0-0: The first period comes to an end in a scoreless tie. The B’s got a decent — yet physical — shift from the David Krejci line that didn’t really produce many chances. Yet it looked decent, so there’s that I guess.
First period, 14:35, 0-0: The Patrice Bergeron line is just having a rough go of it right now. Bergeron put what looked to be a perfect pass on the stick of a driving Tyler Seguin, but the forward couldn’t bury it, as his deflection at the net hit the post behind James Reimer.
The Bruins have won nine of 10 faceoffs, but they’re still being outshot 16-7. That tells you they’ve been far too sloppy with the puck. They’ll have to get that together, because as good as Tuukka Rask has been, it’s going to be tough to be this good all night long.
First period, 11:18, 0-0: This is not the start the Bruins envisioned.
We’re still scoreless midway through the first period, but that’s because of Tuukka Rask and nothing else. The Maple Leafs are taking advantage of some sloppy passing and puck movement from the Bruins, and they’re putting pucks on Rask in a big way. Toronto has already put 13 shots on goal, and Rask has stopped them all, which is the difference in this one so far.
First period, 7:16, 0-0: It’s the Tuukka Rask show again so far.
The Bruins goaltender just punctuated a flurry of saves with a flashy glove save on Clarke MacArthur. The Maple Leafs already have seven shots on goal, and they are starting to tilt the ice in a big way. So far, though, Rask has been outstanding.
First period, 5:18, 0-0: The Bruins were able to kill off the power play, but the Maple Leafs brought it. Zdeno Chara broke a play up in the zone late in the kill, and that allowed Patrice Bergeron to clear the puck as the penalty expired.
First period, 1:46, 0-0: The Maple Leafs will get the game’s first power play.
Chris Kelly was just called for tripping, and the Bruins will have to kill it off.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: It’s time for hockey. Game 5 is underway.
6:51 p.m.: The Bruins have done an awesome job with their honorary captains this postseason, and they’ll have another good one for Game 5.
After local bomb squads did the honor in Game 1, Boston Marathon victim Jeff Bauman held the honor. Tonight, the man who helped save Bauman’s life, Carlos Arredondo.
6:38 p.m: According to pregame line rushes, it looks like Matt Bartkowski will be in for the Bruins in place of Wade Redden. Bartkowski was paired with Adam McQuaid for line rushes. It would be the first career playoff game for the rookie defenseman.
Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg were paired together, as were Johnny Boychuk and Andrew Ference. No changes there.
6:32 p.m.: The two teams just took the ice for pregame warmups. Both Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski are out there for the Bruins.
6:10 p.m.: Good evening and welcome to TD Garden. I had what I thought was a very insightful post on Brad Marchand that I thought I had posted a little earlier in the day, but apparently I never hit “publish.” That’s pretty key in this business.
So now I’ll do my best to replicate that post.
The short of it is that Marchand has been just as quiet as Tyler Seguin in this series. Marchand does have two points to Seguin’s zero, but it’s not like he’s set the world on fire. Seguin has taken the majority of the flak for that line’s lack of production, and that’s to be expected given his connection to the Maple Leafs. However, it’s worth noting that Marchand has just one goal and three assists in his last 11 playoff games — last year and this year. Marchand has also been scuffling down the stretch at least in terms of finding the back of the net. He’s scored just two goals since April 20, and one of those was an empty-netter. That’s a long ways from his 13 goals in 19 games to open the season, but that’s obviously an absurd pace.
Marchand said himself during that stretch that it wasn’t going to last, and he said that these things are obviously cyclical. They certainly are, and Marchand has hit a goal-scoring valley. The good news for the Bruins, of course, is that they’re one win away from advancing despite the relative lack of production from that line. I don’t expect them to be held down too long, and maybe this is the night they break out. If this team is going to make a long postseason run, they’re going to need Marchand, Seguin and Patrice Bergeron all contributing a little more on the offensive end.
12:10 p.m.: Claude Julien made it official when meeting with the media following the team’s morning skate: Wade Redden is out for Game 5 against Toronto.
Julien wouldn’t reveal the reason Redden is out, but the head coach said Redden is day-to-day. Julien also wouldn’t reveal who will play for the Bruins in Redden’s place. The two obvious choices are Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski. The latter was called up Thursday and joined the team for morning skate. Bartkowski was skating with Adam McQuaid during the skate, but Julien didn’t confirm anything after the skate. The head coach said that he’ll make the decision later in the day and that it will have to do with matchups.
“Well, we’ve got two [options],” Julien said. “Obviously, Dougie and Bart. One’s a right shot and one’s a left shot and we have to decide what we want to do with our pairings here. Once we decide that we’ll know who to put in. They’ve both been kind of told that, ‘We’ll let you know.’ It’s one of those two guys.”
It sure looks like it’s going to be Bartkowski, but you can never be sure about all of that at this time of year. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The Bruins didn’t change their forward lines at morning skate. In case you need a refresher, here are the forward lines.
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Tyler Seguin
Rich Peverley — Chris Kelly — Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton
10:52 a.m.: The B’s may switch things up on defense, as Matt Bartkowski was recalled and skating with Adam McQuaid at morning skate. Wade Redden appears to be the odd man out. -JB
8 a.m.: The Bruins survived overtime in one of the best games we’ve seen in a long time in Game 4 in Toronto, and they’ll get their first chance to close out the series Friday.
The B’s and Maple Leafs return to TD Garden in Boston on Friday night for Game 5 with Boston holding a 3-1 series lead and looking to end their first-round series. The Bruins, when holding a 3-1 series lead, are just 9-8 in Game 5 in their history, but they’ve eventually won 15 of the 17 games they’ve held a 3-1 series lead. The Leafs, meanwhile, are just 4-10 in Game 5 situations where they’re done 3-1 and just 1-13 in those series’ overall.
Boston is in position to win the series after a thrilling 4-3 win in overtime in Game 4 on Wednesday. David Krejci continued his excellent play in the playoffs, capping a hat trick with the game-winning goal in the first overtime period. Krejci took the league lead in playoff points with that performance, and he now has five goals and five assists in just the four games.
If Krejci has been the Bruins’ No. 1 star through four games, then Tuukka Rask is at least No. 2, maybe No. 1A. The goaltender has been simply fantastic, and he took his game to a new level in Toronto. Rask set a career-high with 45 saves — a number he totaled in both games — and he kept the game alive long enough for Krejci to score the OT winner in Game 4. If he continues to play like he did in Toronto, summer won’t be far away for the Leafs.
However, Toronto has shown quite a bit in this series. After looking overmatched and outclassed in Game 1, the Leafs bounced back with a win in Game 2 before giving Boston all it could handle in Games 3 and 4.
But their backs are up against the walls, which will make a quick start in Game 5 even more important for the Bruins. If they can come out flying and take the Leafs out of the game early, there’s always the chance Toronto packs it in and the B’s cruise to a win. The good news for them is that they’ll have Nathan Horton in the lineup. Horton took a big hit from Dion Phaneuf in order to move the puck leading up to Krejci’s goal, and the Bruins forward went down hard. He told reporters Thursday that he’s feeling fine, which is good news for the Bruins, of course, with the line of Krejci, Horton and Milan Lucic playing the best it has all year.
On the other side, the Leafs will have to make some changes on the blue line. Defenseman Mark Fraser is out after taking a puck to the head off the stick of Lucic in Game 4. Toronto coach Randy Carlyle revealed Thursday that Fraser suffered a cranial fracture. Fraser said John-Michael Liles will be reinserted into the lineup in Fraser’s place. Liles played in Game 1, but he’s been a healthy scratch in the games since.
Puck drop from the Garden is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP