Boston at Toronto
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, April 23, 2018
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
One night after Pittsburgh and Nashville both failed to win close-out games on home ice, the Boston Bruins suffered a similar fate in their bid to KO the Toronto Maple Leafs in their Eastern Conference first-round series. The Bruins get another chance to send the Maple Leafs packing when they take a 3-2 series lead into Monday's Game 6 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
The Maple Leafs were demolished in their first two games in Boston by a combined 12-4 count but they scored a pair of early goals and rode a superb 42-save performance by Frederik Andersen to stave off elimination with a 4-3 victory. "Playoff games on the road, sometimes you just have to survive," Toronto's Nazem Kadri said after returning from a three-game suspension. "Now we got some life. It's a 3-2 series and it's going to be a good finish. We got to go home and take care of business." The Bruins still have the upper hand in the series and have reason to feel confident, having won Game 4 in Toronto (3-1) and knowing it has the luxury of a winner-take-all Game 7 on home ice. "I think the momentum is still on our side right now even though they won," Boston forward Tim Schaller said. "We had a good push-back (in Game 5), and we're going to take that push-back and hopefully have a good first five minutes up there in Toronto and go from there." TV:
7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, NESN (Boston), CBC, TVAS (Toronto)ABOUT THE BRUINS:
Goaltender Tuukka Rask has guided Boston to the Stanley Cup Final (2013) and won a Vezina Trophy, but he lasted only nine shots and was yanked midway through the second period Saturday after giving up four goals to put his team in a catch-up situation. "Probably could’ve stopped more pucks with my eyes closed. That’s about it," Rask acknowledged. "It’s on me, but moving on to the next one and we’ll finish it out in Toronto." Center Patrice Bergeron was back in the lineup Saturday after sitting out Game 4 but Boston's top line, which amassed 20 points in the first two games, was held off the scoresheet.ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS:
Speaking of No. 1 units, there was speculation as to whether coach Mike Babcock would switch Mitch Marner to Auston Matthews' line to ignite a spark; instead, Babcock elevated Connor Brown alongside Matthews, moved William Nylander to a newly formed unit with Kadri and Andreas Johnsson, and put Kasperi Kapanen with Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Brown and Johnsson each scored their first career playoff goals and van Riemsdyk also converted. "I’m not sure we’re going to have the same lineup," Babcock said Sunday. "With last change at home, might make that different. I don’t know for sure."OVERTIME
1. Andersen became the fifth netminder in franchise history to make at least 40 saves for a win in an elimination game.
2. Bruins D Torey Krug collected two assists Saturday to boost his point total to eight in the series.
3. The Maple Leafs are 1-14 when trailing 3-1 in a series -- the lone exception coming in the 1942 Stanley Cup Final when it became the first team to erase a 3-0 deficit.PREDICTION:
Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 3
Stats and Records