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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Everything goes well, Leafs win 3-2 at home to takes series lead

Thanks to massive goals from Andreas Johnsson, Auston Matthews and Trevor Moore, the Leafs take Game 3 and the series lead over the Boston Bruins.

Although the Leafs lost the shot battle 36-34, they were able to keep the pressure on the Bruins all-game-long. Scoring two important powerplay goals and actually getting some penalty calls were able to keep the Leafs in the game.

To set up the first goal of the game, the fourth line had a massive play and continued it throughout the game. Gauthier, Ennis, and the goalscorer Trevor Moore had important roles to play and did them well.

Matthews had a goal and an assist as well — hopefully to start his hot streak to pull the series out for the Leafs.

The Leafs win 3-2 and have the chance to take a two-game lead in the series at home on Wednesday.

Recap

The Leafs had a red-hot start to the game, controlling the play right from the beginning. A key shift to set the mood from start came from the fourth line, appearing almost like a powerplay shift and hemming the Bruins into their own zone.

Through the first eight minutes of even-strength hockey, the Leafs were winning the shot attempt battle +12/-6. A much better sight to see after the horrid start in Game 2.

The physicality was present from the beginning — Marner laying out Marchand, Muzzin hitting Pastrnak, Hyman bodying Pastrnak as well — the Leafs were trying to change their style and set the scene for a rough Game 3.

The first penalty of the game went to Ron Hainsey after getting called for interference with 3:24 left in the first period. It was killed with ease, not even allowing the Bruins to get a shot on goal.

To open up the scoring, Trevor Moore pots in a rebound behind Rask to put the Leafs up 1-0 at 2:38 of the second period.

A tremendous shift by the fourth line forced the Bruins to stay in their own zone and cycling by Ennis and Gauthier created the chance for Moore. Rielly and Ennis with the assists.

Shortly after, David Krejci killed all the good feeling with a goal of his own to tie it 1-1.

Killing the mood in one swift movement, the game is back to evens.

Just five minutes into the second, Tavares is pushed into Rask by McAvoy and the Bruins goaltender was down momentarily. He has his history of concussion problems, so the Bruins wanted to make sure the Finnish netminder was alright to go.

Just 12 seconds into a power play because of a high-sticking penalty from David Backes, Auston Matthews sets up in his regular spot and launches one past Rask to give the Leafs a 2-1 lead.

The Papi Has Been Awakened.

With just a few minutes left in the second period, the Bruins took another mistimed penalty for them and the Leafs punished them for it.

Andreas Johnsson was able to crash to the net and backhand it perfectly over Rask to give the Leafs a 3-1 lead.

Now with two powerplay goals at this point of the game, the Leafs man advantage has been finally working for them.

Replacing Kadri on the powerplay, already through 40 minutes, Johnsson has a primary assist and a goal. More than making up for his absence for now.

Unfortunately, on the other end of the special teams, not so much.

Jake Muzzin takes a penalty and the Bruins and Charlie Coyle made him pay for it.

Now within just one single goal, the game stayed interesting just because both of these teams want us to die.

To end the second period, the score stayed 3-2 with both teams tied with 26 shots per.

Within the first five minutes of the third period, Nikita Zaitsev (who looked alright this game) sent the puck right over the glass in the defensive zone and gave the Bruins a powerplay opportunity to tie up the game.

Luckily strong penalty killing from Brown and Marner was able to restrain the Bruins powerplay and keep the lead for the Leafs with just under 13 minutes to go in the game.

To make everyone feel more secure about the lead, Hyman had a massive shift including knocking Chara down and charging the net for a scoring chance.

For the rest of the game, the Leafs never allowed any key scoring opportunity. They did a very good job of suffocating the Bruins chances in their own zone and not letting them have any free-flowing neutral zone play.

The Bruins ended up pulling Rask with just 90 seconds left. Even though there were some stressful moments with so many stoppages in play

 

 

Who Wore the Crown?

After every Leaf game, we’re recognizing one Leaf player who best exemplified what it means to play hockey the “Toronto Way”: with heart and soul, above all else. Who wore the Crown is brought to you by Crown Royal, passionate fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Tonight it has to be Andreas Johnsson. Important break-ups in the neutral zone, going hard to the net next to Matthews, and scoring a massive goal as well as an assist.

Johnsson had one of his best games as a Leaf and earned the first star as well.

The Bruins and Leafs will play Game 4 on Wednesday at 7 pm, at Scotiabank Center in Toronto.