All the Toronto Maple Leafs needed to get back into their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Boston Bruins was a little home cooking.
The Leafs beat the Bruins 4-2 in Game 3 at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night, trimming Boston’s lead in the series to 2-1.
The Bruins tied the score on two occasions but never led. A late third-period goal by Leafs forward Patrick Marleau, his second of the game, sealed Boston’s fate.
Here’s how Game 3 unfolded:
B’s forward Riley Nash returned to the lineup after missing the final five regular-season games and the first two games of this series after taking a puck to the face.
The Leafs, as expected, came out flying with tons of speed and physicality. They opened an early 6-1 edge in shots on goal and spent a lot of time in the attacking zone. But Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was up to the challenge in the early going.
The Leafs took their first lead of the series when James van Riemsdyk jammed home a puck at the top of the crease for the first goal of the game. It was the second power-play goal of the series for the Leafs and JVR — he also scored one late in Game 2.
Toronto got the power play because B’s defenseman Kevan Miller was penalized for delay of game. But on the replay it looked like the puck hit the glass and then went out of play. It probably shouldn’t have been a penalty.
BRUINS TIE IT
Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid fired a shot from the point that barely got past Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen and trickled over the goal line to tie the score at a goal apiece.
LEAFS TAKE THE LEAD RIGHT BACK
It took Toronto just 43 seconds to go back ahead. Morgan Rielly fired a long pass up the boards to Mitch Marner, who sped through the attacking zone and sent a cross-crease pass to Marleau. The veteran forward beat Rask to put the Leafs up 2-1.
Bruins defenseman and captain Zdeno Chara tied the score 2-2 in the second period with his first goal of the playoffs. He faked a shot at the point, skated past a defender toward the goal, found a small window to target at and buried the shot from a tough angle.
BACK AND FORTH
The Leafs took their third lead of the game when their best player, Auston Matthews, finally scored his first goal of the series. He beat Rask with a short-side snipe and was very fired up after breaking the tie.
OFF THE POST
The Bruins had a couple of incredible scoring chances on an early third-period power play. David Pastrnak couldn’t score all alone at the net and Rick Nash hit the post on a one-timer.
Marleau beat Rask on a 2-on-1 rush with 3:35 left in the third period that ended Boston’s hopes of pulling off a comeback. It was his second goal of the game.
The Bruins and Leafs resume their series Thursday at 7 p.m. ET in Toronto.
Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports