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Tuesday, 07 May 2013 10:31

Boston Bruins beat Maple Leafs in Toronto for game 3

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Toronto had waited nine years between hosting playoff games.  They'll have to wait at least couple more days to get a win. Despite Air Canada Centre rocking for the first ten minutes of a game that started with a frenetic pace, it was deflated 13:42 into the first after David Krejci won a faceoff back to Milan Lucic who poked it along to Adam McQuaid at the point.  Quaider laid into a shot that found its way high blocker side on James Reimer. Boston answered Toronto's speed through the neutral zone by punishing anyone chasing the puck into the corners.  McQuaid, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg finished every check below the goal line to squelch the cycle happy Leafs.  Milan Lucic got into the act early and often after disappearing in Game 2 of the series. Rich Peverley added a second goal for a struggling third line at 5:57 in the second after good forechecking.  Peverley pressured the Leafs D into making a mistake behind their own net.  Jaromir Jagr picked Ryan O'Byrne's pocket and slipped the puck from behind the goal line to Peverley who was hanging out short glove side on Reimer and lifted the pass in one motion over the netminder. Toronto would finally get something to cheer about at the 13:45 mark of the second when Jake Gardiner laced a shot from the blue line through a mass of humanity and passed a sprawling Tuukka Rask.  The Leafs were on a power play and Boston failed to clear the puck twice when they had the chance, resulting in multiple opportunities and scrambles in front of the net.  The puck found its way to Gardiner who buried it to cut the lead in half. Just fifty seconds later, the L Train that is Milan Lucic barreled his way into the offensive zone and fed Nathan Horton right in front of the net. Horton roofed it top shelf for the 3-1 lead.  Normally, top shelf is used to describe going high net, but in this case it was literal.  No one except the ref saw the puck go in as it just rested on top the goal cam and didn't come out.  The official scorer’s red light didn't even come on. Two minutes after the 3-1 lead, Danille Paille stashed a shorthanded breakaway on his backhand.  When Boston sees Paille finishing on a breakaway they knew things breaking their way. Unfortunately, Phil Kessel cut the lead to two again 47 seconds into the third after Lucic was sent to the box with thirty seconds left in the second.  That gave the Leafs life and a reason to hustle for the entire third period.  Luckily the Bruins withstood the onslaught without even so much as generating their own offense.  The were the beneficiaries of some puck luck with posts coming up with huge saves and biscuits bouncing over sticks that would otherwise have open nets to shoot at. An empty net is exactly what David Krejci had to shoot at when the Bruins iced the game with 1:10 left for the 5-2 win. The Merlot line had a lot to do with this win.  When the Bruins were not getting any offensive push for the last ten minutes, the ability for Claude Julien to roll that fourth line and trust them to not post a minus at the end of their shift gave much needed rest to the top lines, especially the Bergeron line which Bergy had posted over 20 minutes of ice time to lead all forwards. Game 4 on Wednesday night.  Could it be another chance for Toronto to win in front of their crowd, or the last home game of the season for the Leafs and their fans?