Leafs get back into se­ries


TORONTO — Aus­ton Matthews scored the go-ahead goal in the sec­ond pe­riod as the Toronto Maple Leafs de­feated Bos­ton 4-2 on Mon­day to cut the Bru­ins’ lead in their first-round se­ries to 2-1.

Patrick Mar­leau, with two, and James van Riems­dyk also scored for Toronto, while Mitch Marner and Mor­gan Rielly added two as­sists each.

Fred­erik An­der­sen made 40 saves to get the win.

Adam McQuaid and Zdeno Chara replied for Bos­ton. Sean Ku­raly had two as­sists for the Bru­ins, who got 26 stops from Tuukka Rask.

The Leafs will look to even the Eastern Con­fer­ence quar­ter­fi­nal in Thurs­day’s Game 4 be­fore the se­ries shifts back to Bos­ton for Game 5 on Satur­day.

Held point­less through 120 min­utes where Toronto was outscored, out­mus­cled and out­played in los­ing by a com­bined 12-4 score­line at TD Gar­den, Matthews snapped a 2-2 tie with 5:13 left in the sec­ond when he ri­fled a shot short­side up­stairs on Rask from a sharp an­gle af­ter a great feed down low by Wil­liam Ny­lan­der.

Bos­ton’s top line of David Pas­tr­nak (four goals, five as­sists), Brad Marc­hand (one goal, five as­sists) and Pa­trice Berg­eron (five as­sists) put up an as­ton­ish­ing 20 points through the first six pe­ri­ods of the se­ries while also hold­ing Matthews and Toronto’s top unit off the score­sheet.

But the Leafs fi­nally had an an­swer on this night as the trio failed to find the range.

The Bru­ins’ power play — a ridicu­lous 5 for 10 in the se­ries com­ing into Mon­day — got its first op­por­tu­nity early in the third, but Pas­tr­nak hit the post off a feed from Rick Nash.

The Leafs fi­nally sealed it with 3:35 left when Mar­leau scored his sec­ond of night on a 2-on-1 rush, fir­ing a shot past Rask for the 70th play­off goal of the veteran winger’s ca­reer.

Pulled af­ter al­low­ing three goals on five shots in the first pe­riod of Game 2, An­der­sen robbed Pas­tr­nak on a jaw-drop­ping div­ing stick save with Rask on the bench for an ex­tra at­tack with just over two min­utes to go to help pre­serve Toronto’s win.

Toronto led 1-0 af­ter the first, but Bos­ton tied things at 3:06 of the sec­ond when McQuaid’s shot from the point squeezed under An­der­sen’s pad and drib­bled in. The goal came mo­ments af­ter An­der­sen made a ridicu­lous glove save from his belly on David Kre­jci with Nash and Travis Der­mott bat­tling in the blue paint.

The Leafs went back ahead 43 sec­onds later when Marner con­trolled a pass off the boards from Rielly be­fore feed­ing Mar­leau in front.

But the Bru­ins again re­sponded on a goal An­der­sen will want back when Chara ripped a shot off his mask and in from an im­pos­si­ble an­gle at 6:19.

Toronto’s Kasperi Ka­pa­nen, who hit the post early his team’s ugly 7-3 loss in Game 2, found iron again later in the pe­riod on a shot that beat Rask clean, but Matthews would make no mis­take later in the pe­riod.

Af­ter get­ting thumped in Games 1 and 2, the Leafs had a num­ber of chances early as they re­turned to a bois­ter­ous Air Canada Cen­tre be­fore a con­tro­ver­sial se­quence led to the open­ing goal.

Bos­ton was left fum­ing af­ter cen­tre Ri­ley Nash, who re­turned to the lineup af­ter suf­fer­ing an ear lac­er­a­tion on March 31, was ruled to have put fired the puck di­rectly over the glass for a de­lay of game penalty with just over three min­utes left in the first, even though tele­vi­sion re­plays sug­gested oth­er­wise.

Toronto, which was 1 for 7 with the man ad­van­tage through the first two games, made the Bru­ins pay just seven sec­onds later when van Riems­dyk scored his sec­ond goal of the se­ries slip­ping the re­bound of Tyler Bozak’s ini­tial shot through Rask at 17:05 to give the Leafs their first lead of the se­ries.

The home side had a cou­ple of other op­por­tu­ni­ties ear­lier in the pe­riod, but Rask stretched to rob An­dreas Johns­son with a great save be­fore Ka­pa­nen didn’t get all of his back­hand at­tempt on a break­away.

But apart from van Riems­dyk’s goal, the big­gest cheer came when Zach Hy­man lev­elled Marc­hand with a solid hit that sent the Bru­ins winger fly­ing.

Again mi­nus cen­tre Nazem Kadri, who served the sec­ond game of a three-game ban for his hit on Tommy Win­gels in Game 1, Toronto bumped To­mas Plekanec up from the fourth line to play be­tween Mar­leau and Marner on the No. 2 unit.

Toronto winger Leo Ko­marov sat out with a lower-body in­jury suf­fered Satur­day, open­ing the door for veteran Do­minic Moore move into Plekanec’s old spot on the fourth line be­tween Johns­son and Ka­pa­nen.

Hy­man, mean­while, re­turn to the top line with Matthews and Ny­lan­der.


Toronto Maple Leafs’ cen­tre Patrick Mar­leau cel­e­brates his goal against the Bos­ton Bru­ins with team­mate To­mas Plekanec, dur­ing third pe­riod of Game 3, in Toronto on Mon­day. The Leafs won the game 4-2, and trail the se­ries 2-1.

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