Maple Leafs lose to Bruins in Game 4, face elimination

Early in Boston’s 4-2 loss in Game 3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre, Bruins foward Riley Nash was handed a delay of game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass from inside his zone. The Maple Leafs almost made matters worse for the Bruins 5:30 into the game, when Mitch Marner stole a David Krejci back pass and took off on a 2-on-1 with Marleau.

Marner also set up Patrick Marleau on a 2-on-1 in the first after the Bruins scored on the game’s first shot, but Rask was there to make a pad save. “I think we’re in really good condition for this time of year”.

“He played a phenomenal game”, Bruins forward Brad Marchand said of Rask. Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk also had goals for the Bruins, who can win the Eastern Conference quarterfinal when they host Game 5 on Saturday at Boston’s TD Garden.

None of this was supposed to happen to the Leafs’ best defenceman. If that were the case this season, Boston would’ve been paired with Columbus in the first round and Toronto would have home-ice advantage in a series against the Penguins. Little did he know how much the Bruins were going to rely on their goaltender to keep the game tight while they tried to grind out a victory without Bergeron.

That was the line that felt, even without its leader, it still needed to raise its play for the team. The same was true for 23-year-old center Chris Tierney as he came off what was a breakout regular season performance. Toronto head coach Mike Babcock shifted his lines around with former Bruin and Harvard star Dominic Moore making his first appearance of the series in Game 3 on their fourth line.

Bergeron has five assists through the first three games of Boston’s first-round matchup against the Leafs, which the Bruins lead 2-1.

He was not on the ice as the Leafs practiced Wednesday morning.

Boston captain Zdeno Chara and Toronto’s Auston Matthews traded goals later in the second period to make it 3-2 Leafs after 40 minutes. Cruising along and up 3-0, the Vezina Trophy finalist allowed Gabriel Landeskog’s 5-on-3 power-play goal in the third and another on Alexander Kerfoot’s tap-in off a rebound.

Then two years ago, after everyone seemingly gave up on them being a serious threat to ever win it all, they finally had a breakthrough and reached the Stanley Cup Final. That game is over and we are on to today. You took that personally.

When this was put to Rielly, the only response was an exasperated eye roll and a glare at the offending media wisenheimer.

One of the biggest differences was with Toronto having last change, the Bruins weren’t able to dictate matchups as well as they had in Boston. “That’s hockey. Hopefully we get a few more next game, but give (Toronto) credit”.

The Bruins continued to struggle with their puck management and didn’t play below the dots in the Toronto zone enough.

“It’s one I’ve got to fight to see”, Anderson said.

“Ah, no”, came the reply. “We’re just starting. It was a long game last night and we’ve had some overtime games, but that’s all part of it. That’s the toughest thing about him, his speed and skill”. Monday night was a horror show from a Bruins perspective. Game three is what everyone expected the whole series to be. I mean, I understand if this is a pee-wee game or if there’s a bone sticking out of his leg.

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