Penalties, power-play goals skyrocket early in National Hockey League playoffs

Mitch Marner led the Leafs in scoring this year with 22 goals and 47 assists

Mitch Marner led the Leafs in scoring this year with 22 goals and 47 assists

The Leafs threw everything that they had at the Bruins on Monday night, and until Marleau's second goal, it seemed like the B's were one play away from stealing the game and sealing the fate of Toronto's season.

The centre scored the go-ahead goal in the second period as the Leafs picked up a 4-2 victory to cut the Bruins' lead in their first-round series to 2-1. The Boston Bruins were riding high after jumping out to a 2-0 series lead. The tie was short-lived as Marleau directed a well-placed pass from Mitch Marner past Rask to restore Toronto's one-goal lead with 16:11 remaining.

Komarov is the second Toronto forward sitting out, with Nazem Kadri serving the second of a three-game suspension for his illegal hit on Tommy Wingels in Game 1. Also Patrice Bergeron had some good chances but was not able to score. Of course, Marchand was talking about the Plekanec circa 2009-12 roughly, when he was still with the Montreal Canadiens and still interested in playing.

Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy spoke more with the officials ahead of the second period about the call, and explained his point of view on the situation after the game. "We've got to find ways to create a little more".

"When you're my age, social media doesn't really affect your life", Babcock said.

Andersen entered this series with a 10-1-0 record and a.935 save percentage in his career against the B's, which made his struggles over the first two games pretty surprising. So I'd prefer if they not guess and air on the side of caution.

Plekanec and his new linemates did not overwhelm Bergeron and company but, more important, they were not themselves overwhelmed. But at some point, we need to see some sort of pushback from the Maple Leafs to truly believe that they're indeed alive, no?

The Leafs' defence, while improved, still had the habit of throwing pizzas across the middle of the defensive zone.

Play was stopped with under nine minutes left in the third when McQuaid was hit in the neck area by a puck off Van Riemsdyk's stick. "They're supposed to win their two home games and now we come back here and obviously win this one tonight, strong effort tonight and be ready to go".

Absent from the final five games of the regular season and first two postseason contests due to an ear laceration that also came with some concussion-like symptoms, Nash will return to a third line featuring Danton Heinen and David Backes on the wings. The Bruins added another power-play goal - their second of the night and fifth of the series - to make it 4-0 after one.

"He's going to skate tomorrow, and then will skate the following day and be a game-time decision (for Game 4)", said Babcock.

Adam McQuaid (1) and Zdeno Chara (1) each had a goal for Boston.

For the most part, referees Brad Meier and Ian Walsh had their whistles tucked away calling just two penalties until a late-game tussle/stick swinging incident between Marchand and the Leafs' Morgan Rielly. His teammates were feeding him the puck, but he was unable to get it past Andersen.

Matthews exploded once he double-checked the puck was indeed rattling inside the Boston Bruins' net - and that he hadn't suffered a Kasperi Kapanen-like fate. And after over 154 minutes of being stymied in these playoffs, Matthews was left free to use his speed and skill to generate some of the offence Toronto had been lacking with a vintage scoring play teed up between him and linemate William Nylander. Matthews put the Leafs back in front, 3-2, with a great shot on a great feed from Nylander at 14:42. It looks like the Sharks are in control of this series, but if Anaheim can play on even terms for the first half of the game, doubt will creep in for San Jose.

In the second period, however, things came apart for the Bruins' first line.

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