David Pastrnak scores twice against the Maple Leafs
David Pastrnak scored twice within minutes, and Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists, as the Boston Bruins survived a late surge from the Leafs to win 6-4.
The Leafs had a chance to go 3-1 up in a series for the first time in 32 years. However, they instead will be kicking themselves following a game where they fell behind 2-0 and 5-2. Before a late comeback attempt fell short.
The line of Marchand, Bergeron and Pasternak were held in check with six points. This including just two at five on five. These came through nine periods to start the best of seven series. However, they had matched that total by the time the Bruins went ahead 4-2 in the second.
Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy moved Pastrnak away from the action for much of the night only to reunite the three after Toronto levelled the game.
Pastrnak finished off a two-on-one with Marchand on a play started by Bergeron. Therefore, the Bruins went back in front with just over three minutes remaining in the second. He then took a slick backhand pass from Marchand on a power play to fire home his second only 95 seconds later.
“It’s not easy to win in this building,” said Pastrnak, who mostly played on a line with David Krejci. “A hell of a win.”
Charlie McAvoy also had an assist and a goal. While, Joakim Nordstrom and Zdeno Chara also scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask made 38 saves.
Auston Matthews scored two for the Leafs, while Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott also found the net for the home side. Meanwhile, Frederik Andersen made 25 stops, and Morgan Rielly had two assists.
The Leafs held a significant edge in five-on-five play, and boasted nearly 62% puck possession. But they were undone by mental errors and an inability to take advantage on the early power play.
“As a team, we did a lot of good things,” said Leafs centre John Tavares, who along with Hyman and Mitch Marner have been tasked with going toe-to-toe against the Bergeron line. “We generated a lot of chances, got a lot of pucks to the net.
“We didn’t have our best start tonight, but we gave ourselves a good chance.”
Speaking after the game to reporters Mike Babcock wasn’t too critical of his team. He said: “I thought we had really good energy tonight. But, I didn’t think we had the kind of brain all the time that we wanted. We turned the puck over and made two really big mistakes on the penalty kill that I thought we ended up giving freebies on.
“But I thought we had good energy and for periods of the game, I thought we played really good. We had too many turnovers in the first period trying to play too high-octane instead of just looking after the puck and playing right like we’ve been playing.
“But I thought we had good energy. In three of the four games, we’ve had really good energy and did lots of good things. We just got in our own way a little bit here tonight.”
The series returns to Boston on Friday.