Boston Bruins level the series after beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1
Charlie Coyle and Brad Marchand scored during a rough first period as the Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday to even their opening round playoff series at one game each.
Patrice Bergeron and Danton Heinen scored the other goals for the Bruins, who flexed their muscles following a disappointing effort against the speedy Leafs during Thursday’s opening game. Tuukka Rask made 30 saves, while Marchand added an assist.
Nazem Kadri could be facing another suspension after crosschecking Jake DeBrusk in the head late in the third following a three-game ban in last spring’s series against the Bruins, Kadri had earlier replied for Toronto.
Frederik Andersen made 37 stops during the defeat. Game three of the best-of-seven series occurs on Monday at Scotiabank Arena.
The Leafs neutralized Boston’s top line of David Pastnak, Marchand, and Bergeron at five on five in their 4-1 victory in Game one. While they also used their superior quickness to expose 42-year-old defenceman Zdeno Chara.
However, there would be no repeat on this night.
The Bruins came out of the gate with a purpose, hitting every Toronto player in sight and building a 2-0 lead after just 20 minutes inside an electric TD Garden.
Andersen was by far the best Leaf on the night. He robbed Heinen with a superb glove save before Rask made a toe stop on Andreas Johnsson at the other end. John Tavares and Kadri were both denied on a Leafs’ power play. While Zach Hyman hit the post as the visitors tried to respond.
Kadri was assessed for a hooking penalty later in the period. As he raced to get back into play, he grabbed the puck and took a knee-on-knee hit from DeBrusk. Toronto’s centre stayed on the ice. Before skating off on his own before returning for the third.
Andersen continued to play his part. He robbed Marchand with his glove at the side of the net early in the fourth period.
Toronto head coach Mike Babcock swapped his top two lines and mixed his defence pairings as he searched for a spark to get the team back into the game.
The Leafs got a power play five minutes into the third. However, nothing occurred until Kadri broke Rask’s shutout bid after a deflection at 10:44.
Kadri was suspended for three games for boarding in last year’s series. And he got another five-minute major and game misconduct for crosschecking DeBrusk in the head after the Boston winger hit Patrick Marleau into the curved glass at the end of the Bruins’ bench.
Bergeron scored on the ensuing power play at 15:03 as the Leafs now turn their attention to Game three; without Kadri.
Speaking of Kadri, Babcock said: The league decides on all of this kind of stuff. I didn’t see it and haven’t reviewed it because it was down the wall from us. I haven’t discussed it, I don’t know that. It was a physical game.
“The referees, the way they reffed the game. They let lots of stuff go. But in the end, you can’t let that get in the way of what you’re doing.
“Playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs isn’t supposed to be easy. And it’s worth it. You’ve just got to find another level to dig in.”