The Toronto Maple Leafs won Game 6 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Boston Bruins on Monday night to force a decisive Game 7 in Boston.
The Leafs trailed 3-1 in their Round 1 series versus the B’s in 2013, then Toronto won Game 5 in Boston and Game 6 in Toronto to take the series the distance, and that’s exactly what’s happened this postseason.
The Bruins are hoping the script for Wednesday’s series finale is the same as 2013, when they emerged victorious in overtime after a historic comeback from 4-1 down in the third period.
The Bruins, despite losing a 3-1 lead in the series, should still be confident going back to TD Garden for Game 7.
The Bruins have scored an average of five goals in Boston and just two in Toronto. The B’s also have gone on the power play 16 times through three home games this series, compared to just three on the road. Boston went 28-8-5 at home this season, and it also has a sizable edge over the Leafs when it comes to Game 7 experience.
The first priority for the Bruins in Game 7 is a strong start. The Leafs have all the momentum after back-to-back wins, and an early scoring advantage for Toronto on Wednesday night might be enough to carry them to Round 2. This Leafs team is deeper, more talented and has better goaltending than the squad that collapsed on this stage in 2013.
Here are some other notes from Bruins vs. Leafs Game 6:
— The Bruins have lost five consecutive Game 6s — their last win was in 2012 against the Washington Capitals in Round 1.
— Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask played more than well enough for the B’s to win Game 6. He made 27 saves on 29 shots, and also stopped a breakaway and a 2-on-1 scoring chance late in the third period. He easily was one of Boston’s top three players on the night.
— Frederik Andersen was fantastic again for the Leafs, stopping 32 of 33 shots for a .970 save percentage. The Danish goalie made 42 saves in Game 5 back in Boston. Andersen has played in only one Game 7 in his career. It was in the Western Conference finals in 2015, when he allowed five goals in a home loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
— The Bruins’ top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak has not tallied a single point over the last two games, and only Marchand has scored a goal over the last three games. This trio scored five goals with 15 assists in the first two contests of the series, but has been held scoreless in all three of the team’s losses this series.
— Jake DeBrusk has not looked like a rookie during his first postseason. The 21-year-old forward scored his third goal of the series in the first period, which gave Boston a 1-0 lead. DeBrusk also has added two assists in the series, and he’s tallied at least one point in five of the six games.
— Rick Nash began Game 6 on the third line. He had four shots on goal Monday, but again he couldn’t find the back of the net. Nash has one point (a goal in Game 2) in the series.
— Mitch Marner has been Toronto’s best player in the series. He scored the go-ahead goal for the Leafs in the second period and added an assist on Tomas Plekanec’s empty-net tally, giving him eight points (two goals, six assists) through six games. Marner will take a five-game point streak into Game 7.
His high-end playmaking skill has been so crucial to the Leafs’ offense in this series.
Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports