Nazem Kadri celebrates with teammates- (Chris Young/ Canadian Press)
BOSTON— For the Bruins, last night’s goal was simple. If they won Game 5 in front of the home fans, they would be moving on to the next round. That was in stark contrast to the goal of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prior to last night’s game, they were holding on for their dear hockey lives. A loss would send them golfing for the summer, while a win would extend the series and their season, giving the team and its passionate and hockey-crazed fans a glimmer of hope.
After Boston started out the game strong, Toronto quickly composed themselves and dominated the play for the rest of the period. There was no scoring in the first frame from either side, but the Leafs held a 19-8 shot advantage, making Tuukka Rask stand on his head throughout the period.
The second period was similar in style to the first, except this time, there was a goal to be had. Unfortunately for Boston, the visiting Maple Leafs rattled the cage first as forward Tyler Bozak scored on a shorthanded bid at the 11:27 juncture. Andrew Ference helped with the Toronto goal as his sloppy play with the puck at the blueline created a breakaway opportunity for Bozak as he slipped a wrist shot through the legs of Rask giving the Maple Leafs a 1-0 advantage in shorthanded fashion. That would be all the scoring in the second period, and even after surrendering the first goal, the Bruins still held a 17-10 shot advantage on the Leafs in the frame.
The third period was scripted like the other two, with the majority of it being a gritty, scrappy, tightly-defended game on both sides. The only goal of the period was tallied by Clarke MacArthur as a Johnny Boychuk pass was off-line for Nathan Horton. MacArthur picked it up and took it to open ice, where he performed an excellent deke around a sprawling Rask for a goal at 1:58 in the period. Captain Zdeno Chara added a tally at the 11:12 mark and gave the Bruins and their fans a ray of hope, but it was not enough as the Leafs played the role of ungracious visitors and took a hard-fought game on the road by a 2-1 score.
James Reimer received the win stopping 40 shots while Tuukka Rask took the loss stopping 31. The next game will be tomorrow night in Toronto as the Bruins try to finish off the Leafs. Puck drop is at 7:30 PM.