Boston Bruins: The B's were unable to execute in game 3

Boston Bruins: The B's were unable to execute in game 3

You knew that the Leafs would bring their biggest and strongest efforts to Game 3, as they were thoroughly embarrassed in Boston.

The Maple Leafs, all but dead in some corners following the first two games of their first-round series against the Boston Bruins, are back. As the game wore on, Plekanec looked like a man possessed in what was far and away his best game as a Leaf.

SPECIAL TEAMS - Toronto had the second-best power play (25 per cent) and 11th-ranked penalty kill (81.4) in the regular season while Boston had the fourth-best power play (23.5) and finished second in killing penalties (83.7).

It all started with head coach Mike Babcock giving his critics the bird in the morning. "At the end of the day they are going to be our best line every night". Visit SportsLine to get National Hockey League odds and picks for every Stanley Cup playoff game, all from the advanced computer model on a red-hot 21-8 National Hockey League run.

Plekanec was acquired from Montreal at the trade deadline to add depth and experience to the Leafs up the middle, but until Monday his contribution was mostly negative.

"I just think you're kind of innocent until proven guilty, I don't think you can guess and give someone a power play". While the Bergeron group had its chances, it did not score, and after a couple of months of wandering in the wilderness, Plekanec's savvy came through. "They've been getting a little too much time and they're too skilled to do that".

This did not come to pass and it was sort of fascinating to watch it unfold. "We got away with the win and that's huge". Just on that you thought there was a good chance of the Leafs holding them below their series average of a cumulative ten points this game.

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The Leafs had their first lead of the series when James van Riemsdyk scored a power-play goal at 17:05 of the first period, setting up in his office at the edge of the crease and popping a Tyler Bozak rebound past Rask. Together Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak logged nine shifts, basically in a matchup against the same Leafs forwards and blue-liners and in total the Bruins' first line managed one shot. "You know what people are saying". He was forced into making creative saves through most of the game and did a great job keeping everything but the first two out. That, in a seven-game format that gives the home team the advantage, is obviously true.

The Bruins tied it briefly at 3:06 of the second perid. Had it not been for goals from Adam McQuaid and Zdeno Chara - the two goal scorers we all expected to step up and lead the charge in this game, I'm sure - 3-0 would have felt like 6-0 after 40 minutes of action. "You have to be able to respond in those moments, and as a team collectively we have been able to respond (well) when we've hit some adversity during the course of the year". That means that Game 2 featured six games of posts condensed into 60 agonizing minutes.

The Maple Leafs may be down but they don't feel as if they're out of it just yet and they are confident that they'll get back in the series in front of the home crowd. Plus, Babcock has chosen to go with Frederik Andersen tonight in net. "We just have to keep this going into Game 4". "We could have won a few more puck battles".

"We'll look at it again", Bergeron said.

Holden hasn't been in the lineup since April 7th when the Bruins took on the Ottawa Senators.

After Marleau scored his second of the game, with less than four minutes left in regulation, the numbers were ugly.

One player who had a lot of opportunities was David Pastrnak. Compounding this was the fact that Marchand and Bergeron were out on the penalty kill when van Riemsdyk opened the scoring.

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