National Hockey League playoff action on Monday evening and a pair of teams from the Atlantic Division will duke it out as the Boston Bruins rumble will the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario in game three of their best-of-seven series. Goalie Probables: The Bruins will be sending out Tuukka Rask and the Maple Leafs will counter with Frederik Andersen.
Bruins Take A Commanding 2-0 Series Lead
The Boston Bruins did not really play well their last few games of the regular season, but they have really upped their game in the postseason so far. The Bruins took both games at home in this series and they really walloped the Maple Leafs as they outscored them, 12-4 in the two games. In game one they won by a score of 5-1 and then followed that up with a 7-3 win on Saturday night. This team is rolling and they seem to be a bit angry after losing their chance at the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Leading their attack in the game was David Pastrnak, who recorded his 2nd career hat trick and he now has 38 goals on the year, plus he had three assists in the game as well. Also scoring in the win was Jake DeBrusk, which was his 17th of the year, Kevan Miller, which was his 1st of the year, Rick Nash, which was his 22nd and David Krejci, which was his 18th. The Bruins have gone 22-19 on the road and they have averaged 2.93 gpg and have allowed 2.61 gpg in those games.
Grabbing the win in the game was Tuukka Rask, who stopped 30 of the 33 shots that he faced to improve to 32-23 with a 2.12 GAA and a .929 save percentage in the playoffs in his career. Rask was 34-19 with a 2.36 GAA and a .917 save percentage during the regular season, including 13-10 with a 2.51 GAA and a .915 save percentage out on the road. In his career (during the regular season), he has gone 105-95 with a 2.41 GAA on the road and 87-60 with a 2.16 GAA against the Atlantic Division, while against the Maple Leafs he has gone 16-9 with a 2.14 GAA.
Boston was solid on offense during the regular season as they ranked 6th in the league in scoring at 3.26 gpg, while also ranking 8th in shots taken (33.0 spg) and 4th in power play conversions, converting on 23.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they were very good as they ranked 4th in goals allowed, giving up 2.57 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots allowed (29.3 spg) and 3rd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.3% of their chances.
The Leafs Are Not Looking Good
The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a very solid season this year and they came into the postseason playing well, but that was then and this is now. The Leafs have lost the first two games of this series and neither loss was close at all as they have been outscored 12-4 in the two games. It is imperative that they win this game or this series could be over in four games. They need to build some confidence, but they will not be easy as the Bruins are playing like a team possessed at the moment. The Leafs are a team in trouble. Scoring in the game two loss was Mitchell Marner, which was his 23rd of the year, Tyler Bozak, which was his 12th and James van Riemsdyk, which was his 37th. The Maple Leafs have gone 29-12 here at home and they have averaged 3.34 gpg and have allowed 2.66 gpg in those games.
Absorbing the loss in the game was Curtis McElhinney, who allowed four goals on 23 shot attempts after replacing Frederik Andersen, who allowed three goals through the first 12:13 of the game. Andersen will get the nod here and he has gone 19-15 with a 2.55 GAA and a .911 save percentage in the postseason in his career. Andersen was 38-26 with a 2.81 GAA and a .918 save percentage during the regular season, including 23-10 with a 2.64 GAA and a .924 save percentage here at home. During the regular season, in his career, he has gone 79-42 with a 2.43 GAA in his home games and 42-27 with a 2.62 GAA against the Atlantic Division, while against the Bruins he has gone 10-1 with a 2.09 GAA.
Toronto was a very solid offensive team this year as they ranked 4th in the league in scoring at 3.29 gpg, while also ranking 16th in shots taken (32.2 spg) and 2nd in power play conversions, converting on 25.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they were above average as they ranked 12th in goals allowed, giving up 2.80 gpg, while also ranking 28th in shots allowed (33.9 spg) and 11th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 18.6% of their chances.
- 4-9 in their last 13 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- 1-4 in their last five after scoring five goals or more in their previous game
- 4-1 in their last five games playing on one days rest
- 21-7 in their last 28 home games
The Leafs have not been that competitive in this series, but they have a chance to get one back here at home where they have been tough this year. The Bruins are rolled through the first two games and they have gone 22-19 on the road this year, but they lost both regular season games here in Toronto this year and the Leafs have gone 29-12 here at home for the year. Frederik Andersen was tourched in his two games against teh Bruins so far, but coming into the playoffs he was 10-1 in his career against them and I look for him to get back on track in this one. Take the Leafs.