Leafs limp home af­ter two mug­gings

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports - JOSHUA CLIP­PER­TON

The Toronto Maple Leafs had de­signs on a long play­off run when they boarded Wed­nes­day’s flight to Bos­ton, con­fi­dent of their chances ahead of a firstround Na­tional Hockey League se­ries with the Bru­ins af­ter a record-break­ing reg­u­lar sea­son.

Now they’re sim­ply look­ing for a way — any way, re­ally — to slow down a jug­ger­naut that’s bashed them around in two crush­ing de­feats to open their best-of­seven East­ern Con­fer­ence quar­ter-fi­nal.

Losses of 5-1 and 7-3 at Bos­ton’s Toronto-Do­min­ion Gar­den have the Leafs in an 0-2 hole as they pre­pare to host what amounts to a must-win Game 3 at Air Canada Cen­tre on Mon­day.

Toronto isn’t done yet, but a lot has to change in 48 hours fol­low­ing an em­bar­rass­ing beat down in Bean­town.

“We were out­played for two games,” Leafs de­fence­man Ron Hain­sey said af­ter Satur­day’s blowout. “If you add it up, it’s 12-4 over six pe­ri­ods. We de­serve ev­ery bit of crit­i­cism far and wide. Good news is, story’s not to­tally writ­ten yet.

“We can try and change the story.”

A place to start would be get­ting in the way of Bos­ton’s top line of David Pas­tr­nak, Brad Marc­hand and Pa­trice Berg­eron, which has com­bined for a stun­ning 20 points in 120 min­utes of ac­tion.

Head­ing into Sun­day, Pas­tr­nak led the playoffs in scor­ing with nine points, in­clud­ing three goals and three as­sists in Game 2, fol­lowed by Marc­hand’s six points and Berg­eron’s five.

The trio has dom­i­nated at both ends of the ice with speed, skill and re­lent­less puck pur­suit.

In ad­di­tion to stel­lar play in the of­fen­sive zone they’ve also shut down the Leafs’ No. 1 line led by Aus­ton Matthews, which has been held off the score­sheet.

Toronto will likely try to get Matthews away from Bos­ton’s top unit.

WINSLOW TOWN­SON THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Hats lit­ter the ice af­ter David Pas­tr­nak’s third goal Satur­day. The Bru­ins sniper added three as­sists in a 7-3 whip­ping of the Leafs in Bos­ton.

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