Before this series began, I predicted that the series would go six games. Going into game five last night, I was kind of hoping I was wrong. The Boston Bruins had an opportunity to finish off the Toronto Maple Leafs last night at the TD Garden. The Bruins knew they were going to be facing a desperate team, but I don’t think they were prepared for what was going to come at them. The first minute of the game found the Leafs huddled in their own zone with the Bruins applying enormous pressure. After that, the next forty minutes looked like the Toronto show.
Tuukka Rask kept the Bruins in this game by playing like he was a Vezina trophy winner. He stopped nineteen shots in the first period alone. Rask found himself under fire early and often and made some career worthy saves last night. In the end though, the Toronto Maple Leafs made the best of opportunities presented to them, and the Boston Bruins found themselves facing a James Reimer who played his best game to date this season.
I can’t really recall anything ever being easy for any team,” said Andrew Ference. A sloppy play by Ference in the second period led to a Tyler Bozak breakaway and the Bruins giving up a short handed goal. “Like I said, wins are difficult to get this time of year and they have to be earned. If you don’t match a team at the beginning of a game like that, you spot them a couple of goals, it’s a tough win this time of year.”
The other Toronto goal game from another breakaway, this time caused by a sloppy pass by Nathan Horton. Clarke MacArthur earned that breakaway opportunity, and that second goal was enough to take the Bruins out of this game.
The Bruins did play a much better third period though. David Krejci added to his playoff point total by scoring an assist on Zdeno Chara‘s first goal of the playoffs. There was significantly more pressure in the offensive zone. The Bruins were making their plays and doing well on the forecheck. They just didn’t have the “puck luck” to pull it out in regulation.
“Just trying to do a little bit too much,” said Johnny Boychuk, on the errors that cost the Bruins the game. “We had a lot of turnovers and they had more time in our zone because we kept turning the pucks over at the bluelines, instead of getting it deep.”
Coach Claude Julien summed up the evening’s events and Toronto’s impressive play. “Every once in a while the hockey gods will take care of the people that deserve it. Obviously they played forty strong minutes and they deserved to win tonight. We have to lick our wounds and get ready for next game.”
Game six will be played Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto will be playing not only to keep themselves alive to force a game seven, but to win their first playoff game at home against the Bruins since 1959. The puck drops at 7:05 pm, and will be covered by NESN. As always you can find us on Facebook at www.facebook/pages/causewaycrowd